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Map your autism-friendly community

Create a map of the autism-friendly spaces in your community and help others see what more needs to change.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Big pieces of paper
  1. Everyone should split into small groups.
  2. Each group should make a list of the areas in their community that have taken steps to be autism-friendly.
  1. Everyone should come back together and use their lists to make one big list of autism-friendly champions in their community.
  1. Each small group should draw a map of their community on a big sheet of paper. They could trace another map or be creative and make the map in their own style.
  2. Each group should highlight the areas that have taken autism-friendly action. They could draw the building, use a colour code, or add labels – as long as the places stand out so it’s obvious who’s taking action to be accessible for more autistic people.
  3. Someone should chat to the person in charge of their meeting place (or another community space) and arrange to display the maps for the public to see. How could they explain that the map shows everyone the places that have taken action to be accessible and promote positive change?
  4. Everyone should think about how their maps could stay up to date. How could they encourage the public to add their own ideas of places that have taken autism-friendly action?

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.

Reflection

This activity was a chance for everyone to communicate and spread the word about all of the changes they’ve started. How did people use their maps to share information? There are lots of different ways to show things, including colour codes, symbols, drawing, and written labels. When else has communication been important in this project? People may think about how they learned about autism and how they shared this knowledge with places that were becoming more autism-friendly.

This activity was also about being responsible and doing the right thing. How do people feel when they look at their maps? Perhaps some people feel pleased that so many places are trying their best, while others feel sad or cross that there are still places that aren’t autism-friendly yet. Everyone should feel really proud of the difference they’ve made. Change can take some time, but setting an example for others to follow is a really important first step. What else could people to do to help create an autism-friendly and accessible world? 

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.