Can You See Me?
We are pleased to introduce you to our new autism awareness scheme ‘Can you see me?’ and look forward to working with areas over the next year to develop autism friendly villages, towns and cities across Wales.
What does the scheme involve?
We are hoping to promote understanding and acceptance, amongst communities in Wales in order to improve access to facilities and reduce the stigma that many autistic individuals and their parents and carers experience.
As an introduction to adapting interactions for autistic individuals, we have created a range of posters providing tips for community provision such as high street stores, banks, supermarkets, hairdressers, cinemas, etc. These can be viewed at the bottom of this webpage.
We have also created leaflets for GPs and dentists. There are a series of resources to help individuals let others know they have autism (should they wish to), these include a wrist band, card, smartphone screensaver and a car window sticker.
We have developed a video to promote the scheme, and have been supported by players from the Wales rugby team and the Football Association of Wales – we are very grateful for their help. Also Gethin Jones, our Autism ambassador, has supported us to create this – along with many other resources, and we are ever grateful to him for his support in delivering our key messages.
Click on the image below to play the ‘Can You See Me?’ video (click the ‘CC’ button to view the film with English subtitles):
We will be working with local areas to roll out the scheme, as it will be important to ensure everyone is on board to have the impact that autistic individuals need.
How you can help
We need help to make this scheme effective. Please share the video, follow us on Facebook / Twitter for updates. If you are able to volunteer and help us please let us know, we will contact you when we are rolling out the scheme in your area.
Before creating the scheme we consulted with numerous staff within retail, leisure and social facilities and gathered the views of 365 autistic individuals / parents and carers via a survey.
Why posters, don’t people need training?
Our aim with this scheme is to make communities aware of autism and the difficulties individuals face. We consulted with many staff working in shops and community provision. They told us that posters with information and tips would be most useful to them as an easy reference guide. These posters do not replace the need for more comprehensive training, but will help staff to understand that doing things differently can help autistic individuals to access their provision.
We have a range of more detailed information about autism on this website, and there are many training providers available for more in-depth training should people wish to commission this.
Why do people need to let others know they have autism?
It is up to the individual / parents / carers as to whether they wish to let others know they have autism. Many people tell us that they would like to let others know and so we have created a way to do this. Staff within retail and leisure facilities tell us that they find it difficult to know if someone has autism, and therefore adapt their interactions unless they are told, as autism is a hidden disability.
From our survey 86% of respondents affected by autism said that this would be useful to them.
Is it right to ask people to wear wrist bands to identify their selves as being autistic?
We are not asking people to wear the wrist bands, but are providing them for those who want to let others know they have autism in this way. Many individuals advise us that they find it difficult to communicate this to others.
From our survey, only 11% of adults and 13% of parents and carers said they would not use the band. For those who don’t want to wear the band, there is a card or smartphone screensaver. If individuals do not want others to know they have autism they should not use the resources. Our information leaflets also reiterates this message.
We have tried to make the band / card / smartphone screensavers subtle yet distinctive, of course we are hoping that everyone will recognise what they mean and individuals are made aware of the implications of this via our information leaflets.
Where can we get the resources?
We will be commencing roll out in the coming months, please follow us on Facebook / Twitter or check our website for information. Or e-mail us at ASDinfo@WLGA.gov.uk to request the wristband, card and smart phone screensaver and let us know if you are interested in making your town autism aware.