Two events next week - on the 5th and 6th of July - mark the next stage in making Glasgow city centre the first autism-friendly city centre in the UK.
These focus group workshops will take place in the St Enoch Centre (at the Argyle Street entrance, opposite Costa Coffee). The workshop on the 5th is between 5.30 - 8pm, with the 6th July workshop from 1.30 - 4pm.
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 is 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.
Next week's workshops will give those participating the opportunity to help shape these proposals.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and the City Convener for Inclusive Economic Growth, said: "Making Glasgow city-centre autism friendly will make the city centre more accessible for everyone, which in turn will bring social and economic benefits for the whole city. I would encourage everyone with an interest to come along to these workshops so they can share their ideas and help shape our strategy to ensure our city-centre is accessible for all."
Lynsey Stewart, Network Advisor at Autism Network Scotland, said: "The drop-in focus groups workshops are a great opportunity to have your voice heard, engage in conversations and explore ideas to enable those with autism to confidently access facilities such as shopping centres, tourist attractions and public transport in and around Glasgow city centre."
There is an opportunity for those who wish to contribute but cannot attend the workshops, by completing the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X378LMF.