The Scottish Parliament has become the first public building in Scotland to receive an Autism Access award from the National Autistic Society.
The Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, accepted the award on behalf of the Scottish Parliament from Jenny Paterson, Director (Scotland) of the National Autistic Society, at Holyrood.
Today’s announcement on World Autism Awareness Day follows the introduction of a number of improvements to the visitor experience of autistic people using the Holyrood building.
The Presiding Officer explained:
“I am delighted that the Scottish Parliament has become Scotland’s first public building to receive the Autism Access award. It is important that no one is excluded from the activities of the Parliament and I hope this award will encourage other organisations to develop their own ways to support the needs of people with autism in Scotland.
“We have introduced a number of innovations aimed at improving the visitor experience of people with autism and I am pleased this has been recognised by the National Autistic Society.”
Jenny Paterson, Director (Scotland), National Autistic Society, added:
“I’m delighted to present the Scottish Parliament with the Autism Access award. It’s fitting that the Scottish Parliament, being home to the policy and law makers that can improve the lives of those with autism, is the first public building in Scotland to get this recognition. We have enjoyed working with the Parliament in contributing towards making Scotland an autism friendly nation, a country where those with the condition can use community facilities without fear and without anxiety.”
- The Autism Access Award is a new standard for buildings and facilities. It demonstrates a commitment to removing barriers for people with autism. It is presented by the National Autistic society to facilities that have made adjustments so that people with autism, their families and carers, find it easier to visit.
- Information for people with autism on what to expect from a visit to the Scottish Parliament is available on its website and at the Parliament’s entrance.
- A number of Scottish Parliament staff members have received training in autism awareness, they will wear an ‘I am autism aware’ badge to help visitors recognise them.
- A quiet room has been made available for people who need a quiet space during their visit.
- 2 April is World Autism Awareness Day. Further details of how the National Autism Society has been marking World Autism Awareness Week can be found on its website.