A CHARITY is going further than ever in making it easy for schools and businesses to champion the message about autism acceptance.

The North East Autism Society (NEAS) is gearing up for Autism Acceptance Week by making easy-to-follow ‘Acceptance Toolkits’ freely available.

NEAS has previously designed toolkits for primary schools, but secondary schools are included this year.

The toolkits feature useful information about autism and neurodiversity, with guidance on reasonable adjustments that can be made to help pupils. There are also educational videos, lesson plans, and a range of classroom sessions and activities.

This year, for the first time, the charity has put together an Employers’ Toolkit for businesses, aimed at helping companies have a better understanding of autism, the requirements of Equality Act, and how they can more inclusive.

The Northern Echo:

Kerrie Highcock, Family Development Manager for NEAS, said: “Every year, we try to raise the bar higher and look at what more we can do to get across our message about autism acceptance.

“This year, as well as covering both primary and secondary schools, we also want to make it easier for businesses to gain greater awareness of autism, so they can support autistic employees in the workplace, and make the most of their qualities.”

The theme of Everyday Equality has been adopted for this year’s Autism Acceptance Week, which runs from March 27 to April 2. And, as part of the annual campaign, schools and businesses are being encouraged to fundraise for the charity in return for accessing the free toolkits.

NEAS has also planned a series of events to celebrate the acceptance campaign, including the popular Walk for Acceptance, at Herrington Country Park, in Sunderland, on April 14.