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Glasgow promises to be one of the first autism-friendly city centres in the UK – Glasgow Live

Friday, 28 April, 2017

Glasgow promises to be one of the first autism-friendly city centres in the UK – Glasgow Live

Businesses, leisure centres and the city council came together this week to discuss how to make Glasgow’s city centre more autism-friendly.

Plans to make it one of the UK’s first autism-friendly city centres was met with widespread praise last month.

The next step was a workshop, held in partnership with Autism Network Scotland and the Autism Resource Centre on Monday, and more than 20 city centre organisations attended including representatives from shopping centres, transport hubs and museums.

The event focused on ways that autism affects individuals, especially in busy places like the centre of Glasgow, and speakers included a woman on the autistic spectrum sharing her own experiences.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “This first workshop on making Glasgow city centre autism friendly was a great success.

“All the organisations involved are committed to working together to ensure we achieve our aim of ensuring everyone can have the most enjoyable day possible in the city centre.”

The aim of the project is to get businesses to see the benefits of improving accessibility in Glasgow's bustling city centre .

Glasgow Film Theatre - earlier this year given an official Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society - also shared their experiences and those first simple steps.

All the organisations attending were asked to show their commitment to the plan by signing a commitment board, and all of them signed.

A represenative of the St Enoch Centre said: "Over the past 12 months, we have been working towards becoming an autism friendly centre.

"As part of this work we’ve rolled out autism friendly training with staff across the centre to help to create a welcoming environment for all customers.

"The council workshop was extremely beneficial to us as a team as it re-affirmed the importance of creating an autism-friendly city centre.

"It’s great to be able to work with Glasgow City Council and the workshop highlighted further areas for us to progress and set out five key objectives for us to collaborate on.

"It was really useful to hear from the different experts in the field of autism and we left feeling confident and driven to progress our own plans in partnership with Glasgow City Council.”

The council say the next step will be public focus groups with autistic people and their families, to gather more views and advice.

The participating organisations will then be approached for one to one chats about how they can achieve their goals.

Lynsey Stewart, network advisor at Autism Network Scotland, said: “As a first step, it was great to meet and hear from so many organisations across Glasgow as we discussed ways to make the city centre more autism friendly.

“Autism Network Scotland is delighted to have signed up to this exciting initiative and we look forward to supporting the council with the next phase.”


Source: Glasgow promises to be one of the first autism-friendly city centres in the UK - Glasgow Live

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