Hot on the heels of World Autism Acceptance Week, it is World Autism Awareness Month. With 700,000 autistic people in the UK, events must be made to work for everyone.
So how can you make sure your event is accessible and inclusive for a neurodiverse audience?
Listen to neurodiverse people
Listening is always the first thing on our list when we are asked this question. We suggest seeking input and feedback from neurodiverse people right away, from the start of the planning process right through to evaluation.
This got us thinking about what we can learn from neurodiverse people planning their own events. We remembered a brilliant story last year from social media influencer Ramona ‘Mona’ Jones, otherwise known as @Monalogue, who shares life from her cottage in the countryside.
Ramona is open about her autism and how she navigates the world alongside her partner Aaron – who has ADHD.
So, what did ‘Mona’ do differently at her wedding that we can apply to wider events?
Prioritise comfort over formality
Some of Ramona’s priorities were to limit the scale of the event. She had a small, family-only guestlist, a short ceremony and no evening reception.
She also scheduled time for the couple to take a walk in the garden after the ceremony. She had breaks and a room to escape to if it all became too much.
Mona also asked her guests what she could do to make the day easier and they thought of a few things like providing earplugs, having an outdoor meal with familiar foods and games to remove social pressures.
Ramona says she told her family that they were prioritising comfort over formality. Many of them are neurodivergent too and they were grateful for this.
Don’t be afraid to do things differently
When asked in a National Autistic Society blog what advice she would give to other autistic people organising their weddings, Ramona says to put your own needs first and don’t be afraid to do things differently.
One thing that stands out is how the changes that Ramona made suited the rest of the party and it just goes to show that what works for a neurodiverse audience, often benefits everyone.
To help you do things differently and to think about the needs of your neurodiverse audience, we’ve developed a new checklist covering what you need to know to make events accessible and inclusive for a neurodiverse audience. Download the guide and make sure you’ve got it covered.
A bit of careful consideration goes a long way. If you need any help or guidance in planning your next accessible event, then reach out to us at Attendable.
Including A Neurodiverse Audience
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