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11th Oct 2018

Clonakilty is now the first autism-friendly town in Ireland

Jade Hayden


Clonakilty has been named Ireland’s first autism-friendly town.

The West Cork spot has gone through a robust accreditation process to be named the country’s first town officially friendly to people with autism.

The achieve this title, Clonakilty had to design a three-year autism-friendly plan.

For this, 25 percent of businesses and voluntary organisations, 50 percent of public services, and 50 percent of school communities had to be trained.

50 percent of healthcare professionals, three employers and 25 percent of the town’s population also had to be reached and engaged about the initiative.

This comes a few years after Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty started offering autism-friendly shopping hours, creating a more calm environment where sensory stimulation was reduced.

And more recently, the retailer worked alongside AslAm to help make the Clonakilty the first autism-friendly town in Ireland.

Clonakilty’s autism-friendly organisations are now called Autism-Friendly Champions and will display a sticker on the entrance of their premises to alert the public to this.

These businesses and organisations are fully trained, service dog friendly, and host a sensory activity specific to that business.

They will also have developed a social story to help prepare visits to the business or organisation.

A full list of Clonakilty’s Autism-Friendly Champions can be found here.