Why does neurodiversity day matter to your business?

When you think of disability, do you think about ADHD, dyslexia, autism and dyspraxia?

They are hidden disabilities, which affect millions across the UK – from children to adults.

Can your business cater for them? As part of Neurodiversity day today, May 16, we want to help shed some small tips to help businesses to welcome customers with hidden disabilities.

People with hidden disabilities enjoy getting out and about as much as anyone else, but many are prevented from doing so because they have a member of their family who becomes anxious with unfamiliar places. It often makes parents of children with these conditions feel isolated too.

Mum-of-three Kerri Moore is just one of millions of families, who find days out and holidays a struggle.

Kerri with her three children on a weekend stay in Blackpool

All of her three children suffer with ADHD and autism and she finds that small steps made by businesses make day trips and holidays so much easier.

Business owners may panic about getting it right, but actually, Kerri, from Liverpool, finds fast track queuing lanes,  faster check-ins, quiet spaces and even thorough website information and travel apps are just what she requires to take away the stress.

Kerri, whose son Will, 15, has anxiety issues, while Ben, 11, and daughter Lydia-Mai, have autism with ADHD.

“We struggle as a family navigating three very different children with differing needs, so as a family we struggle to really go anywhere.

“Trips have to be well managed and pre-planned – our trip here has been free-flowing.”

Jane Carver, from Derbyshire, whose daughter Megan has autism, says: “Going anywhere new with Megan can be a challenge. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells make her really anxious. This can cause us problems on a visit so I spend a lot of time preparing her in advance.

Jane Carver at the official launch of the Access Fylde Coast project

“The best attractions for us are those which have lots of photographs and videos on their website that we can look at together”.

People on the autism spectrum thrive on familiarity, and so, as Kerri and Jane do, in preparation for visiting a new place, parents do plenty of research and also call ahead to let venues, accommodation and attractions know they are visiting.

Advance information is very important for autistic visitors to prepare for their visit, so your website, is a great place for detailing any services you offer to take the pressure off a visit.

What Information about your business might be needed?

  • Pictures of your business on your website
  • If you offer fast lanes/ fast check in
  • Do you have lifts, escalators, revolving doors
  • Is there bright or fluorescent lighting
  • If you have a quiet zone
  • If you have quieter times

Access Fylde Coast is here to help all businesses who welcome tourists to understand disabilities – including hidden disabilities – and can help businesses for FREE through our access guides and disability awareness training.

We also have a series of posters you can print off and place on your staff room walls, so that all of your employees can understand more about how they can offer a warm welcome to people with disabilities.

You can find them here

For more information about the free services we offer to businesses, email hello@disabilityfirst.org

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