Let’s help society to become more accessible for people with autism

James Morris recently won a place on the Learning Disability and Autism National  Leaders List 2018 for his work advocating for people with autism.

The Leaders List recognises that people with autism can help drive change and James has written his top 20 tips to help society to become more accessible for people with autism.

  1. More public information about how to support people with autism at train stations, bus stops, shops, pubs, clubs, theatres and museums.
  2. Encourage public and service providers to listen to people with direct experience of autism about what we want and need – rather than thinking they know what we want and need.
  3. Enable people with autism to get involved with their local community by producing more autism friendly local information.
  4. To support all people with autism to have a sensory needs assessments.
  5. Create living environments specially designed to meet the sensory needs of people with autism including décor, lighting, fire alarms, doorbell sounds.
  6. More single-person services and supported housing instead of residential services where everybody lives together as sharing personal space can be difficult when you have autism.
  7. Counselling talking services to be provided so people with autism can learn about autism and help us meet our emotional needs.
  8. More support to prevent loneliness and isolation by assisting people with autism to meet other people with autism and to help us build relationships and explore our sexuality.
  9. Autistic actors to be more visible in the media – on TV, in films and at the theatre.
  10. More programmes about autism on TV, to educate and inform the public.
  11. Support Mums, Dads and family members to better understand what it’s like to live with autism.
  12. More appreciation of the skill and talents of candidates with autism in employment and training.
  13. Schools and colleges to understand that people with autism might lose out on learning because we are unable to cope with a busy studying environment.
  14. Better understanding that we prefer a smaller adult education type college with not so many students.
  15. More awareness that having autism means that you may have certain physical health conditions, such as stomach problems and body pains.
  16. I would like people to understand that we are not playing up, or being stubborn, difficult it’s just because we have autism.
  17. Specialist autism training to be provided for all teams that support people with autism.
  18. More respect for the fact that people with autism do not like shocks, surprises or sudden changes so that planning our daily, weekly schedules is essential.
  19. More acceptance that we are not generally angry people – but that we can become angry if we are anxious and frustrated.
  20. People with autism should not be viewed as a problem, we are born to be whom we are.