09 September 2011
This week, the WLGA launched the innovative Welsh ASD Aware Scheme, which aims to raise awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across Wales. Target participants for the scheme are high street stores, supermarkets, statutory services and employers, and supermarket giant Tesco has become the first to join the scheme, with training for staff in their Risca Tesco Extra store taking place yesterday.
The scheme involves an online learning tool, which helps the user to develop a basic understanding of ASD and the option for users to then complete an online questionnaire to test their knowledge. By recording the information of those who have successfully completed the questionnaire, the system will be able to give feedback on which businesses and agencies have a high proportion of ASD aware staff and the second stage of the project will be to award participating businesses with ASD Aware status.
Cllr. Meryl Gravell OBE (Carmarthenshire), WLGA Spokesperson for Social Care and Health said:
‘It is estimated that 1 in every 100 people have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder and people with ASD use all kinds of services and businesses in Wales. It is therefore vitally important that staff in these organisations are ASD aware.’
‘We are delighted that Tesco have agreed to join the scheme and hope that many other businesses and services will follow suit.’
Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services said:
“The Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Strategic Action Plan for Wales is the first of its type in the UK. It sets out how the Welsh Government is seeking to meet the needs of individuals with ASD, their families and carers.
“The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that, amongst other things, the services provided to people with ASD are fair and equitable across Wales, and that the understanding of ASD in Wales is broadened. We have allocated funding to the Social Services Improvement Agency to make possible this initiative.
“With the Newport branch of Tesco signing up to the Welsh Local Government Association’s innovative ASD Awareness Scheme, it will help achieve our objective of raising awareness of ASD across Wales. This store is leading by example, and hopefully, other organisations and businesses will be encouraged to support this scheme.”
The scheme has been funded by the welsh Government as part of the ASD e- resource for professionals. The scheme can be accessed at www.ASDinfoWales.co.uk/ASDaware.
Notes for Editors
The scheme has been developed in response to the Welsh Government’s ASD Strategic Action Plan for Wales which was launched in 2008- http://wales.gov.uk/topics/childrenyoungpeople/publications/autisticspectrumdisorderplan/?lang=en
For more information contact: Lucy Sweet