As part of our initiative to raise understanding of autism in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, the ScotRail-run station will take steps to achieve our Autism Friendly Award which recognises organisations that ensure autistic visitors can access and enjoy their venues.
Over the coming weeks, a group of autistic volunteers will visit Inverurie station to explain what they find challenging and suggest changes that could be made. All station staff will also take part in an autism awareness raising session.
The station is the latest organisation in the North East to commit to achieving our Autism Friendly Award – alongside Union Square, Aberdeen Football Club, Sport Aberdeen and Peterhead Football Club. In order to be successful, staff at these organisations will learn about autism and make small adjustments – such as introducing quiet hours and providing chill out zones – that make a big difference to autistic people.
Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: "Two thirds of autistic people in Scotland feel socially isolated – but we also know that very small adjustments can often make a big difference, meaning they can access and enjoy the places that many of us take for granted. Our award encourages organisations to learn about autism and make these adjustments.
"Inverurie is the first train station in the whole of the UK to take on the challenge of achieving our award. We’re so pleased that its staff and the whole ScotRail team are supporting our project. Together we can make the North East autism-friendly!"
A ScotRail spokeswoman said: "We welcome the opportunity to support the Society’s ambitions to raise understanding of autism in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and are currently progressing plans to make Inverurie station autism friendly. Even small changes can make a world of difference to people living with autism and will hopefully give them additional confidence when travelling by train."
We are delivering the Autism-Friendly Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire projects in partnership with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnerships.
They aims to increase awareness of autism amongst those living in the North East, support autistic residents to develop social and independent travel skills, and leave a legacy of autism-friendly groups and activities.