Cumbria County Council supports World Autism Acceptance Week

Cumbria County Council supports World Autism Acceptance Week

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day taking place on 2 April every year.

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In the week surrounding this day, the public are encouraged to take part in World Autism Acceptance Week, where people across the UK participate in activities to increase acceptance of autism and raise funds for the National Autistic Society. This year’s Autism Acceptance Week runs from 28 March – 3 April.

Cumbria County Council supports people with autism in a number of ways. Each of the six local committees, made up of county councillors from each district, have a nominated Autism Champion. Their role is to promote autism awareness in their local communities, developing opportunities for training and information, and supporting local libraries to achieve autism friendly status. They also help to inform and support the work of council officers from various council service areas, including Public Health, Children’s Services, Policy and Commissioning.

A number of libraries across Cumbria, including Millom and Whitehaven, are now recognised by the National Autistic Society as being autism friendly, with several more working towards achieving this recognition. Autism friendly libraries provide a welcoming environment for autistic people of all ages, with a range of facilities and resources, including a sensory area, access to regular weekly sessions, social stories and visual maps of library layouts to provide the clarity needed to help plan visits. This helps to develop the confidence, skills and opportunities for people with autism, and offers a chance for autistic people to spend time together with their friends and families in an informal social setting.

Cumbria Libraries was the first library service in the country to work with the National Autistic Society to offer a specialist collection of books and DVDs about the condition. The collections are entitled, ‘Autism? Your questions answered’. All of the books and DVDs can be requested via any library in Cumbria and they are open to everyone. The aim is to provide information about autism and things that might help autistic people.

For more information and resources on World Autism Acceptance Week, visit the National Autistic Society website.

Sally Senejko, Senior Manager SEND & Inclusion said:

“I am delighted the Council is supporting National Autism Acceptance Week again this year. Councillors and officers have worked alongside members of the local business community, parents, carers and people on the autistic spectrum to develop autism awareness communities all over the county, allowing people living with autism and their families to access and enjoy services and facilities that we all take for granted.

“It’s great to see many of our libraries are achieving or working towards autism-friendly status. It makes a huge difference to people living with autism and their families.”

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