Friendly relaxation – offering autistic people safe and inviting places to visit

The Autism Hub has been researching, arranging and promoting relaxed spaces for autistic people to visit. Places which offer a safe and friendly environment. Which brought us to this evening’s event.

There were two speakers – one from a gallery and one from a cinema – providing a chance to compare and contrast approaches to offer an accommodating autism friendly experience.

Linda Bevan- Visitor Engagement and Operations Manager Tate Modern-  began with an explanation of the accessibility efforts and changes Tate Modern is implementing. The South Bank gallery offers quiet rooms, activities and workshops. Audience feedback was positive with suggestions on linear directions, a preference for natural lighting and more dedicated quiet spaces, when the noise and crowds become overwhelming for the autistic visitor.

Jonathan Gleneadie, Acting Head of Cinema, Barbican then followed with an overview on their relaxed programming – with quieter audio, adjusted lighting and removal of advertisements. Audience feedback included more diversity in programming and appreciation for regular relaxed screenings. 

Overall, this was an interactive session with much input from the audience on the things needed to make public venues more accessible to autistic people. A recurring theme was quiet spaces, better booking experiences and clearer signage. As the event moderator, I was particularly pleased with the efforts taken by the two speakers in noting audience suggestions to improve user experience. Feedback is always good.

Nick Stone, ALAG peer support facilitator, 8 March 2023

We are delighted to be funded by Camden Council & Islington Council.

Camden Council Islington Council London Community Response Fund
Camden Giving Cloudesley Asperger London Area Group

Click to listen highlighted text!