Autism Impact Award for Forum

L-R   Lisa Heaney, Box Office Manager at the Millennium Forum, Martin Bradley, Chair of the Derry Theatre Trust, Deputy Mayor of DSDC, Councillor John Boyle, Christine English, Autism NI Development Manager, Colly Kelly, Board Member of Derry Theatre Trust.
L-R Lisa Heaney, Box Office Manager at the Millennium Forum, Martin Bradley, Chair of the Derry Theatre Trust, Deputy Mayor of DSDC, Councillor John Boyle, Christine English, Autism NI Development Manager, Colly Kelly, Board Member of Derry Theatre Trust.

The Millennium Forum recently received an Autism Impact Award in recognition of its ongoing efforts in providing fully accessible experiences for all patrons.

The flagship arts and cultural venue was presented with this award by Christine English, Autism NI’s Development Manager and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Boyle.

The Autism Impact Award recognises organisations who excel in creating a more ‘Autism friendly environment’ for their customers. Through attaining an Impact Award, organisations can confidently open up their business to the 30,000 individuals and families living with Autism in Northern Ireland that previously may have been excluded. This award equips businesses to better understand any staff and customers who may have Autism and allows them to adapt their organisation’s environment to support this. The Impact Award includes staff training and support to implement a range of adjustments to improve accessibility.

Box Office Manager, Lisa Heaney, completed the accreditation to become an Autism Champion. She said: “Twenty-four of our staff completed the training course and we’ve made numerous adjustments to our products and services in order to achieve this award. These include continuing with and increasing our relaxed performances, implementing a permanent Quiet Area that can be accessed during all performances, implementing a customer service Code of Practise across online, phone and in-person interactions, introducing visual menus for our bars and shop, colour coding our doors to assist with ease of access for our patrons, as well as the continuing promotion and implementation of our Access Membership Scheme.”

Christine English commented: “This is the latest success for Derry City and Strabane District Council as they work with Autism NI to become an Autism Friendly Council. The Forum has implemented a number of changes as a result of the Impact Award Scheme, including more visual information and a quiet area that customers can use when visiting the organisation. I would congratulate all the staff and Autism Champions on achieving the Impact Award.”