Autism friendly swimming sessions launched
Sport Aberdeen has vowed to expand access to sporting opportunities and has set out a range of steps it plans to take to ensure its services are accessible for people with autism. as Aberdeen seeks to become Scotland’s first autism friendly city.
- New autism friendly family swimming sessions
- Autism friendly virtual tours of venues
- Staff training
- Adoption of the Active Aberdeen Partnership’s aim to be inclusive
We plan to run an eight week pilot for a new autism friendly swimming session at the end of this month. This will be a swimming session for families with a child who has autism. Whilst the sessions will not be lessons, a swimming teacher will be on hand to do some activities with the children and give hints, tips and signposting into learn to swim across the City.
Careful considerations have been made whilst planning for these sessions including; staff training, the filming of a virtual tour to help swimmers familiarise with the facilities before they attend, and purchasing some specialist resources. Tullos Pool has been chosen to host these sessions because of its layout which offers communal changing, group and family changing areas and a quiet space for any participants who wish to take some time out from the session. The session takes place at a quiet time and considerations will be given to noise levels and music to help provide an inclusive environment.
Commenting, Director for Sport and Active Lifestyles, Jo Bell said:
“Sport Aberdeen is committed to creating opportunities for people with autism to participate in sport and physical activity.
“We have a big responsibility to develop sport and physical activity programmes which are inclusive for people with autism. At the end of this month we will launch the pilot of our autism friendly swimming session, which will make small changes to provide an autism-friendly environment.
“This is part of a wider range of steps Sport Aberdeen is taking as Aberdeen seeks to become Scotland’s first autism friendly city.”
Phionna McInnes, Chief Executive of local charity Me Too!, which supports families of children with additional support needs, including Autism added:
“We are delighted to see these sessions in Aberdeen and encourage families to use this as a lovely way to end the school week and connect with each other in a safe, non-judgemental and relaxed environment.
“So many children on the autistic spectrum love water, it’s fantastic to see this recognised and supported by Sport Aberdeen”.
Spaces at these sessions will be limited, so families are advised to book up to 3 days in advance by contacting Tullos Swimming Pool on 01224 291890
Autism Friendly Family Swimming Session
Fridays 17:30 – 18:30
Tullos Swimming Pool, Girdleness Road, Torry, AB11 8FJ
Friday 28th October – Friday 15th December 2016
Sessions cost the price of a regular public swim:
Under 5’s Free
Family (2 adults + 2 children) £8.35
Access to Leisure Card holders FREE