Roman Baths

Autism Friendly Award
The experiences of a student with Asperger’s informed a project that improved access for people on the autistic spectrum to the building and collections at the Roman Baths complex in Bath.

The student told staff about what he found unsettling as a visitor, from sudden smells or the unexpected spray of water used to keep the atmosphere moist; the building now incorporates quiet areas, appropriate lighting and sound control.

Information for people with autism uses a combination of text and images to prepare them fully for their visit. It includes simple directions explaining where to buy a ticket and how to operate the audio guide and flags up details such as the hand-dryers in the toilets that make a loud noise.

Front-of-house staff have a system of logging pre-arranged visitors with special needs to ensure that the appropriate support is available. The redesigned site has won numerous awards, including the Autism Friendly Award from the National Autistic Society.

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