I have come up with an idea for a project and was wondering if anyone could help/give feedback.
What do people think of autism friendly places/activities?
The idea is an app specifically for the UK that has all the different places/activities that are autism friendly on a map. It would include a suggestions post where people could add a place they thought was appropriate.
Any comments would be great
I would love this. Only yesterday I was searching the web for autistic friendly supermarket slots and cinema times. I found no supermarkets in the area and the only cinema slot was a slot for a little kids movie. I would love to go to autistic friendly places, I'm done with trying to squeeze myself into the nt world. I don't want to do it anymore but I still want to live. Truly, this would be a godsend to me. I only got my diagnosis at the end of October but already I'm seeking out places. So far, I've found a nature reserve, just up the road from me, that has a lovely cafe and shop as well and they sell vegan food, standard, but vegan, and I'd love to find more places. Having the places in an ap would be really helpful as well because already I had forgotten about the nature reserve until now! I think I'll go to the nature reserve tomorrow. I could do with the peace and quite. Let me know if I can be of any help. It's a great idea.
I like the idea but please do not forget about those of us who do not use a 'smart' phone or a tablet.
This is a great idea and we should all be provided with options. In fact my biggest gripe at the moment is not being able to go for a relaxing coffee with my partner. The coffee shops now insist on ramping the 'background' music up, clattering every bit of crockery around in site and as a result everyone attending feels the need to shout over the noise when having a conversation. Long gone are the days of going to a quiet coffee shop and settling into a book over a cup of coffee.
Have you got a local Buddhist Centre or retreat? They often have a quiet cafe in peaceful surroundings where anyone is welcome .. You aren’t obliged to be Buddhist or feel you have to join in but they are restful and don’t have distracting music.
I like the idea too. I don’t have access to the autism friendly cinemas or supermarkets either ( or any other adult autism support) it would be useful to have access to information in one place. I sometimes think it would be good to have a community forum app too so didn’t have to go onto the web to get here.
I go to my local Buddhist centre that has a world peace cafe, it’s so restful. We had a Christmas dinner a few nights ago which was lovely. There are a few autism friendly cafes dotted around the UK, but not enough and none in my area; however, I think we’ll start to see more of them.
...so you're saying you want to put the data from the NAS service directory http://www.autism.org.uk/directory.aspx onto a map, so that people can see the relative location of things?
Couldn't we just ask the NAS to insert a Google map mashup into their existing service directory, so that anyone with access to the web (even if they don't own the relevant smartphone platform), would be able to access it?
I like nature reserves too. Belatedly, I discovered that research has been showing that time spent in a natural environment (particularly if it's near water) can do wonders for mental health.
Forestry commission land is OK, but the areas near us are more degraded than the wildlife trust nature reserves.
You can find a wildlife trust reserve near you at: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife/reserves
Depending upon your circumstances, the wildlife trusts also offer day workshops on various natural history topics.
The trouble is that the data on the directory isn’t sufficient. It’s all very well if you are “lucky” enough to live in an area where there are services and autistic specific support or friendly places. Many areas of the country just do not have anything on the directory or if there is it’s the wrong age group or service. I think the idea is more for things not on the directory already. So that if we find something/somewhere that is autism friendly it can be added to the app. For example the little local quiet cafe or the quieter evening dimmed lighting swim etc if each one of us could add two or three things up and down the country we could cover more postcodes. The quiet cinema events are a great idea but for me they are miles away and just too far to attend. Even Council sports facilities are postcode lottery’s in one area there are more disabled or autism friendly events or sessions and in some they just don’t understand what you are asking for and so there aren’t any. It’s not just noise and lights, it’s sizes of groups or how claustrophobic somewhere is alterations in shops or libraries where shelves are brought closer together or higher mean I’m less likely to go in ..
OK, so given your comment, I can see two options (there might be other options, but I can't personally see them right now; is that also an ASD "thing"??? ):
1) Augment the existing NAS directory with the additional information, and make it a one-stop-shop. Let the NAS vet any submissions from users.
2) Fragment the information between the NAS directory and a 3rd party app, with the likelihood that some users, such as caretwo, can't access a 3rd party app, simply because they don't have the "right" phone/tablet. FWIW, I wasn't actually planning on *my* next handset being a smartphone either. This immediately creates a second class of autistic "have nots". Then the rest of you will have the consequential problem of needing to look in two or more places whenever you want something autism-related. You'll probably also have to pay some kind of subscription fee to use the app, depending on the business model that the provider selects; server time is unfortunately not totally free, and an app's creators deserve to eat, too.
I also fully grok your explanation of the crowd-sourcing of additional venues. It's the USP of this proposal really. However, again, I think there is a potential unintended consequence here too:
Let's say forum user @XYZ (I hope there isn't a real @XYZ because I just made that up ) starts submitting AFAs (Autism Friendly Areas) to the app. It could well be feasible to identify us by analysis of the "centres of gravity" of our submissions, based on our actual locations being roughly central to the set of places we each identify as being autism friendly. This immediately makes user privacy a big concern of any such 3rd party app.
Next, you've also got the situation where user @999 adds a cafe that they like very much, only to have other users panning the place because each of our needs and specific triggers are different? I guess I am wondering if there are really places that are accessible to *all* autistic individuals, or only overlapping sub-sets of *some* of us... we would probably need to have a trial data set of "really good places" to progress those questions though.