You will need
- Coloured pens or pencils
- Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
- Big pieces of card
Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include:
- Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
- You’ll need enough equipment for everyone so people don’t have to share.
- Think about how you’ll hand equipment out – it won’t work for everyone to help themselves from one big pile.
Make the charters
- Everyone should work together to come up with an autism-friendly charter. This is a list of actions and steps that people can take to create a more autism-friendly community.
- Everyone should work together to make copies of the charter to hand to local shops, businesses, and services. They could make a digital charter to print, or make copies by hand.
Plan your route
- Everyone should split into small groups.
- Each group should think about places in the community that could be more autism-friendly. They could think about shops, community spaces, or something else.
- Each group should plan a route through the community, passing the places they identified in step two. They could use a map or computer based-maps.
- Each group should prepare to walk their route and ask the places to sign up to the autism-friendly charter. They’ll need enough copies of the charter to give one to each place, and it may be useful to plan what they’ll say too.
Share the charter
- Each group should set off (with enough adults) to visit the places they chose.
- Every time they reach a place, everyone should explain why it’s important to take action to create an autism-friendly community. They should share their autism-friendly charter and explain that it’s a list of actions they could take to make their place more accessible for autistic people.
- Everyone should ask staff to sign their charter and give them a copy to keep and display.
- Everyone should keep track of all the places that have signed up. They could take down contact details to check back in if the people they speak to say they need to ask someone else.
- Everyone should work together to make a list of all the places that have signed up. They should decide how they’ll tell people who’s joined the list – could they make posters, for example, or use their group’s social media?
This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved.
This activity needed everyone to communicate. They had to communicate with each other to make a plan, then talk to local places (such as shops and services) about their charter. How did people feel before they asked places to take action? Maybe they were a little nervous or scared – it can be tricky to speak up, especially if it’s something new. How did they feel after having conversations? Did anyone have any particularly great interactions? What else would people ask business owners (and the people working in local services) to do to create a better community?
This activity was also about helping the community. Why is it important to create a community works for everyone? What actions can people take to make their part of the community more accessible? People may think about some of the things on their autism-friendly charter, as well as things like ramps to enter, lowered counters, learning a little sign language, or having automatic doors. Whose responsibility is it to make the community better for everyone? Do people think the government should do more to make communities accessible?
- Outdoor activities
You must have permission to use the location. Always check the weather forecast and inform parents and carers of any change in venue.
- Road safety
Manage groups carefully when near or on roads. Consider adult supervision and additional equipment (such as lights and high visibility clothing) in your risk assessment.