Council recognised for autism friendly initiatives

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ald John Smyth and Chief Executive, Jacqui Dixon receiving the Autism Impact Award from Orla Kelly of Autism NI. They are joined by the council's Autism Champions.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ald John Smyth and Chief Executive, Jacqui Dixon receiving the Autism Impact Award from Orla Kelly of Autism NI. They are joined by the council's Autism Champions.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has been awarded the Autism Impact Award from Autism NI, in recognition of going ‘above and beyond’ to create accessible and autism-friendly environments.

The Autism Impact award equips organisations to better understand any staff and customers who may have autism and allows them to adapt their organisation’s environment to support this.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Ald John Smyth was delighted to receive the award from Orla Kelly of Autism NI.

The DUP representative said: “This prestigious award further promotes our support for those with additional needs in the borough. In order to achieve the award, our frontline staff worked alongside Autism NI to gain knowledge in the fundamentals of autism and we now have dedicated Autism Champions at each of our venues to help make them more welcoming and accessible.

“Our champions have developed a number of pre-visit guides for our facilities, allowing those with additional needs to feel more confident ahead of their visit.

“It is important to us that all of our residents and visitors can enjoy our facilities and services and as an autism friendly council, we strive to ensure that every person with autism is able to confidently access these.”

For more information on the Autism Impact award or accessibility within the borough, contact Ellen Boyd on 028 9446 3113 or email ellen.boyd@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk