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Glasgow City Council

Council takes next step in making Glasgow the first autism-friendly city centre in the UK

Published: 27 March 2017

Glasgow City Council will host an event in the City Chambers on 24 April that is the next step in delivering its aim of making the whole of Glasgow city centre autism-friendly.

Glasgow city centre attracts around 55million visits every year, and is one of the UK's top destinations for work, leisure and shopping.  Just over 1% of the UK's population are effected by autism, and ensuring that Glasgow city centre is autism-friendly will further underline its reputation as an inclusive and family-friendly location.

The council will be working with the business community, Autism Network Scotland and other organisations to develop these proposals, with an initial focus on high footfall locations such as shopping centres, transport hubs, museums, cinemas and key operational staff across the city centre.

These proposals have five key objectives which will help deliver an autism-friendly city centre:

·        Customer Experience - promote good customer care and help create a positive customer experience;

·        Customer Information - provide useful information and guidance for any challenges that may arise for autistic people;

·        Staff Training - greater awareness and effective training allowing staff to be more confident in their approach to individual situations;

·        Physical Environment - working within the limits of businesses' physical environment to make reasonable and appropriate adaptations; and

·        Promoting Understanding - organisations to be involved in raising awareness, promoting greater understanding by sharing information with the wider visitor base.

The workshop - organised by Glasgow City Council in partnership with Autism Network Scotland - on the proposals will take place between 1 - 4pm on 24 April at Glasgow City Chambers and will be attended by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life officers, representatives from city centre museums, galleries and transport hubs, city centre businesses and some of their representative bodies, the Hotel Association, arts venues, the TOA and others.

The workshop will allow those attending the opportunity to deepen their understanding of how autism can impact on a visit to the city centre, how simple steps to improve accessibility to the city centre can be taken, and the benefits of improving accessibility. 

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "These proposals have a basic aim: simple changes that can allow autistic people, and their families or carers, to have the most enjoyable day they can in Glasgow city centre.  We look forward to working with our project partners and making Glasgow the first place in the UK to have its entire city centre an autism-friendly location."

Lynsey Stewart, Network Advisor at Autism Network Scotland, said: "Autism Network Scotland is delighted to be supporting the initiative to make Glasgow an Autism Friendly City.  We believe this worthwhile project will make a real difference enabling those on the autism spectrum to confidently access community infrastructure such as shopping centres, tourist attractions and public transport."

Published: 27 March 2017

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