Autism Friendly Waterford is inviting businesses, community groups and the public to be part of their bid to make Waterford Ireland’s first autism friendly city. 

Launching their new website, Amanda Fox, Co Chair of Autism Friendly Waterford said: “Autism Friendly Waterford is an initiative in conjunction with Autism Friendly Communities rolled out by AsIam, Ireland’s National Autism Charity. Communities all over the country have signed up to make their town or neighbourhood Autism Friendly. Waterford is the first and only city so far to look for this accreditation. It is a three year initiative and involves companies, businesses, public services and organisations signing up and appointing a Champion to undergoing training in order to become Autism Friendly. Once a quota is reached, the city will be awarded the accreditation.” 

The new website clearly explains the steps to sign up and avail of the free training. Once the training is complete, companies will be issued with a pack outlining sensory accommodations that can be implanted in the workplace, which may be as little or as much as a company can afford. Examples of sensory accommodations could be low-wattage bulbs, sensory boxes or the provision of a quiet space but information packs will be provided by us when you reach this stage of the process. Companies and organisations are also asked, where possible, to offer employment to Autistic people and to create an autism friendly work environment for their existing Autistic staff.   

“We are looking forward to welcoming you on board and having our first training sessions in the autumn and we are happy to visit any company or organisation to make a presentation on the initiative. Please spread the word, sign up and be part of this initiative to make Waterford the first Autism Friendly City in Ireland,” concluded Amanda. 

Autism Friendly Waterford is supported by Waterford City & County Council, Waterford Chamber, Healthy Ireland Waterford and Waterford Lions Club.