How to make my town Neurodiverse Friendly?

We are a community group made up of the parents of neurodivergent children. We have come together to put Sandymount on the map as a neurodiversity-friendly village that welcomes and celebrates different brains and unique thinkers!

We’re delighted to have created a truly neurodiversity-friendly community in Sandymount.  If you would like to recreate the same inclusive community in your town please see below on next steps.

 

Neurodiverse Friendly Town 

The Neurodiverse Friendly Community initiative follows a series of principles aimed at fostering inclusion and improving everyday experiences for neurodivergent people in local communities. These are referred to as the Neurodiverse Friendly Community Commitments and includes:

  • Putting together your own Neurodiverse Friendly Town committee to work within the community to gather support

  • Optional: for Sandymount we partnered with AsIAm to become an Autism Friendly town in parallel

  • Promote the availability of our understandable and short training on the small but valuable changes that can be done to be neurodiverse friendly - this can be given to businesses staff, schools, community group or parents who express on interest. We will supply this online resource and cover the different neurodivergent profiles. This can also be delivered by a member of your Neurodiverse committee.

  • Promote the Neurodiversity Lanyard and what it means for neurodivergent people, highlighting the benefits available to them in wearing it to access the accommodations your local committee secure i.e skipping store queues, using packing space, receive our sensory bags in restaurants etc 

  • We advise setting up a local whatapp group of parents of neurodivergent children and/or neurodivergent people so your group can build local support for each other and gather suggestions on accommodation's or positive change's that are needed locally. Monthly coffee mornings have also proven to be a great channel of support and place for sharing tips, experiences etc in our Sandymount community also.

  • Work with local business to pledge their support to be neurodiverse friends. Each participating business in your community should work with your group on accommodations that can make a meaningful different to the experience neurodivergent people have interacting with their business. Most importantly the businesses can display our Neurodiversity Friendly sticker in their window to show their support to neurodivergent children/adults. We will supply the artwork for your Neurodiversity town committee to personalise.

  • All participating businesses must be assistance dog-friendly, this is actually a legal requirement similar to a Guide dog.

  • Work with you local community groups and sport clubs to enact local, tangible inclusivity such as creating running “football for all” or a similarly community activity. 

  • Working with your local schools to drive understanding and awareness at grass root level with local children who play a vital role in inclusion for all neurodiverse children; by sharing our “let's be a friend to everyone” story and wristband distribution. We will provide the wristband & T-shirt supplier who has the artwork and can personalise it for your town.

 

What does becoming Neurodiverse-Friendly involve?

In following these principles, it is important that interested communities understand the purpose behind them. This involves an awareness of the main barriers to inclusion for neurodivergent people, including:

  • Communication

  • Predictability and control

  • Sensory processing

  • Judgement and attitudes


We have a framework to assist and guide communities through this process. Included within this framework will be our resource pack (artwork for collateral such as your information booklet, promotional materials, signage etc) and a training module for neurodivergent profiles and accommodations needed to improve the experience and inclusive for a truly neurodiverse community. We can also advise on the structure for your launch event and how to gain business and school support. We will share our best practice on working with local councils and community groups to create neurodivergent-friendly spaces such as “Football for all”. Your town Committee will be responsible for supervising implementation of and commitment to the project in your locality.

 

Code of Conduct within the Neurodiversity Ireland brand

We are excited to see the interest and support from people who want to replicate this in their own town or community. Neurodiversity Ireland is focused on creating positive and supportive inclusive environments, we do not focus on political lobbying and pressure (we do not do protests or lobbying on behalf of Neurodiversity X brand or wear associated branding, e.g. t-shirts). The value and quality of the implementation of creating a Neurodiverse Friendly Town is of the utmost importance to its success and abuse of this sentiment will go against our core principles and permissions of using the logo and brand collateral. We also will not condone or approve any negative behaviours and communications in relation to our logo and brand sentiment. If it comes to our attention that this is occurring we will ask for immediate cease of use and activities connected with Neurodiversity Ireland.

To find out more, please contact us here