Hampshire’s biggest trampoline arena has teamed up with leading autism charity the National Autistic Society to hold an autism-friendly hour.
Flip Out Southampton is supporting the week-long event, a UK first, which asks shops and services for 60 minutes to give autistic people a break from an overload of ‘too much information’.
The trampoline park will be holding two consecutive autism hours on Thursday, October 5th, from 6 to 8pm.
During these hours the trampoline park will be taking simple steps to ensure the arena is more autism friendly by dimming the lights, turning down the music and making sure staff are aware of issues autistic people may face when visiting the venue.
A recent survey by the National Autistic Society revealed that 64% of autistic people sometimes avoid going to the shops because of their autism.
More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum which means that they see, hear and feel the world in a different, often more intense, way to other people.
Richard Wootton, director of Flip Out Southampton, said:
‘We’re very proud to be a part of the UK’s first Autism Hour.
‘Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, sights and information they experience, meaning they feel overwhelmed by when out in public.
‘At Flip Out Southampton we strive to ensure our activities are inclusive for everybody and will be making the necessary small changes to transform our trampoline park into a more relaxing and enjoyable place for those with autism.’
Mark Lever, CEO at the National Autistic Society, said:
‘It is really encouraging to see businesses such as Flip Out Southampton getting involved in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour.
‘Like anyone, people on the autism spectrum and their families want the opportunity to go to the shops, but many find the often busy, loud and unpredictable environment of public places overwhelming and avoid them altogether.
‘Our ‘Too Much Information’ campaign has highlighted that the smallest changes can make the biggest difference for autistic people and we are confident this week-long event around the UK will help shops and services understand how we can work towards a more autism-friendly world.’