A recent campaign started by an Iowa-based organization saw quite a few business owners registering their companies to be autism-friendly. This happened just days after we reported on how employing Autistic adults turned out to be a sweet deal for Bakery owner.
After the news of the Evanston Bakery that facilitated the training and hiring of people with autism, this incident goes to show how autism awareness is growing day by day in our society.
Special Kids Special Love or SKSL is a not for profit Autism organization that aims to reach out to families with Autism as well as to create awareness regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder. A great part of their work goes to support the parents and caregivers by creating Focus Groups, provide families with autistic children with technological support such as sensory devices, special school supplies etc.
Autism being a neurodevelopment disorder, affects social behavior, thus making it difficult for families with autism to feel comfortable in public places. Most people do not understand autism. Therefore, they fail to empathize with the challenges that families with autism face where even small everyday activities like doing grocery or just getting ready to go out can become a trial.
Aiming to address this issue SKSL, based in Mason City, Iowa started the AFL (Autism Friendly Location) campaign to recognize and list the businesses that are autism-friendly – places that offer a safe and friendly atmosphere by keeping the needs of an autistic person in mind. This very important step allows the families dealing with autism to feel safe and at ease in a public arena.
Many business owners have willingly registered to this campaign. They have promised to walk that extra mile in order to accept, without judgement or prejudice, that autism is a part of society, and that people with autism need little more understanding and patience than most other individuals.
Recognising and registering businesses like these will make it a lot easier for families to relax, knowing that there are businesses who work keeping in mind the limitations of Autism.
Being the very first of its kind, this list consists of businesses in every category such as shopping, dining, entertainment and even gate-aways. Families can find their nearby autism-friendly business operators in each of the categories by clicking here.
A number of business owners, from photography studios to insurance agents have participated in this campaign naming their businesses autism-friendly. To register your business or to volunteer and/or sponsor click here.