Staff at Greater Shantallow Community Arts have completed an Autism Awareness Training course and are now working towards their Autism Impact Award accredited by Autism NI.
The course, delivered by Orla Kelly from Autism NI at Studio 2, was attended by a dozen members of staff from GSCA alongside other groups and included information on the legal status with regards Autism (NI) Bill 2011, the main features associated with ASD, and the difficulties that may be encountered on a daily basis.
They also heard about some practical strategies for staff to use to assist individuals with autism and agreeing reasonable adjustments to making the individual’s organisation more autism-friendly.
Oliver Green, Artistic Director at GSCA/Studio 2 said: “I found the course very enlightening. While a lot of us are aware of autism and how it affects the individual, it’s important to get an understanding of communication strategies, ie getting their attention, understanding and responding appropriately, using simple, clear language and most of all, don’t talk too much. A very worthwhile course and one we will be implementing policies from in terms of Greater Shantallow Community Arts.”
Louise Boyce, Access and Inclusion Co-ordinator for Derry City and Strabane District Council, said she was delighted to see such a good turnout at the training session. These sessions have been well received and have further evidenced the need for work to continue towards creating a more inclusive and accessible society.
“A framework is currently being developed within arts and culture venues throughout the district, with many venues expected to achieve an Autism Impact Award from Autism NI by the end of March 2018.
“This is an innovative project within DCSDC, which is in keeping with council’s aims to tackle health inequalities and offer more support services where they are most needed as outlined in the Strategic Growth Plan.”
There will be a launch and celebration event at The Alley Theatre, Strabane on Wednesday March 28 from 10.30am to 1.30pm as part of World Autism Awareness Week and its hoped to see a good turnout.
This is a free ticketed event, although booking is essential.
To book a ticket for the launch event please contact The Alley Theatre 02871 384444 or visit the website: www.alley-theatre.com to book tickets.