As a follow on from the successful launch on November 12th in Scoil Realt Na Mara of ‘Skerries as an Autism Friendly Town’ we want to reflect a little on the launch night itself and also set out the next steps for the initiative over the coming weeks and months.
Firstly as a Committee we want to thank everyone who turned up on the night, we would like to thank Realt Na Mara for their generosity in allowing us to use the school premises for the meeting and for all the staff who helped on the night.
We also want to thank those of you who have offered to help in multiple ways and we will certainly call on you as we drive out the plan for our town over the coming weeks, months and indeed years.
We had over 200 people turn up on the night underlining the great support for the initiative and also underlining the Community Spirit that we are very fortunate to have in Skerries.
It was truly an inspirational night where all speakers and audience members spoke with great passion and sincerity on the importance of inclusion within our communities in general but with a specific emphasis on inclusion of people impacted by Autism.
We were particularly fortunate to have had Adam Harris, CEO of AsIAm speak about his own experience with Autism and also about the great work being done by AsIAm to advocate on behalf of people in our community with autism.
His speech was full of hope as he set out the practical steps that can be taken in a community to drive awareness and education which will ultimately lead to inclusion and acceptance.
The highly successful approach followed in partnership by AsIam and Clonakility, Co Cork was covered as a case study and we heard about the steps taken there and significant progress made which we now hope to emulate over the next three years.
Following our launch we are now at the start of our journey of developing a town plan to drive this agenda.
To help that we are going to prioritise the following items between now and the end of December this year:
- Finalise the membership of our committee in line with the AsIAm framework.
- Meet as a committee to start the process of planning the various initiatives for 2020 and beyond.
Finally, please keep you feedback coming and keep an eye on our Website and Facebook page for updates and details of upcoming events.
Ger O’ Mahony