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Considerations for an Autism Friendly Environment

As part of our continuous professional development (CPD), the OHAC team was joined by a representative from AsIAm - Ireland’s National Autism Charity to provide information on Autism. 

Autism is a complex neurological condition which affects the way a person communicates, interacts and processes information. They face social challenges with communication and interaction, have repetitive patterns of behaviour and sensory difficulties are also highlighted.
People with Autism share some common traits such as sensory differences, communication preference differences, a preference for honesty and enjoying passionate interests. It’s important to remember that individually, people with autism are very different to each other. 
Making use of space is a common challenge for a person on the Autistic spectrum. For example:
Finding open spaces hard to process. Manage better in enclosed surroundings
Struggling with/cannot bear certain sounds, smells or textures
Sensitivity to light
Differences perceiving or displaying emotion
Difficulty interacting with people on a group basis
Might have motor skills difficulties
There a number of considerations in order to project a better accessible place for a person with autism :
Light: Avoid Florescent light, prefer the use of natural light
Noise: try to avoid (or isolate) as much as possible external noises and AC noise
Provide an Info/Sensorial map: It help the person know what they will experience and also facilitate their navigation through the place
Smell: provide good ventilation to avoid strong smells in the environment
Space: Provide enough space to avoid bumps or collisions
Balance: Provide support to balance, such as handrails
Quiet room: If it’s possible provide a silence room so a person can have access during a crisis (meltdown)
At OHAC we are committed to developing our knowledge in accessibility through Internal CPDs and continuous training, this will allow us to provide the latest best practice and accessibility advice to clients. 
For further information on Autism and services provided by ASIAM click here
Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make buildings or services more accessible, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail