Surrey Councillor Dave Woods (right) and Ryan Yao, manager of strategic sponsorships with Canucks Autism Network, unveil the logo for the city’s “Sensory Friendly Spaces” signs at the CAN Birthday Festival, held July 7 at Surrey Civic Plaza. (Photo: submitted/CAN)

‘Sensory Friendly Spaces’ in Surrey to help individuals and families with autism

New signs are among several City of Surrey initiatives noted at recent Canucks Autism Network event

The City of Surrey is rolling out a number of initiatives designed to make life easier for individuals and families with autism.

The resources, created and supported by Canucks Autism Network, were unveiled at the organization’s recent Birthday Festival, held July 7 at Surrey Civic Plaza in celebration of CAN’s 10th anniversary.

Among them is “Sensory Friendly Spaces” — designated spaces at public events that aim to provide “a haven for individuals with autism and other sensory sensitivities to relax. These quiet spaces will feature seating and activities for individuals of any age or diagnosis who may be feeling overwhelmed to have a designated space to decompress.”

• RELATED STORY: Special invites sent for big Canucks Autism Network birthday party in Surrey

A logo for the signs was unveiled at CAN’s festival with the help of Surrey Councillor Dave Woods.

“In 2012, the City of Surrey established a partnership with Canucks Autism Network,” Woods said. “Since that time, the city has been taking vital steps to become more accessible.”

The city is currently exploring community facilities and locations that would best accommodate Sensory Friendly Spaces, according to a statement sent to CAN and forwarded to the Now-Leader.

“The City has made a commitment to introduce autism accessibility initiatives at all major City of Surrey events as of September 2018,” the statement says. “Event-specific accessibility measures may include resources such as site maps (for ease of navigation), sound-cancelling headphones (available for loan), event checklists (to increase predictability), and social storybooks (to help individuals with autism know what to expect in advance).

(STORY CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO)

“In addition, the City of Surrey is working with Canucks Autism Network to launch a step-by-step video resource that will provide strategies for individuals with autism to successfully navigate public community events. The video resource is expected to launch later this year.”

The City of Surrey initiatives are detailed on the CAN website (canucksautism.ca), on a page titled “Building accessibility with City of Surrey.”

Staff training, a step-by-step video about accessing a fitness centre, an Event Accessibility Toolkit and Autism Accessibility Guidelines are some of the other initiatives in Surrey.

They were introduced at the CAN Birthday Festival with the goal of “extending them to improve autism awareness and accessibility in a wide range of City of Surrey buildings, programs and events in the future,” according to the website post.

“For years, the City of Surrey has been a key partner for us to impact the lives of individuals and families with autism. In addition to hosting countless CAN programs, the city has been host to some very special highlights in our 10-year history.”

Past CAN events in Surrey include a Provincial Adapted Hockey Tournament in April 2016 at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex, and an open house at Surrey Fire Hall #17 in 2017.

Also at the CAN festival in Surrey, Ben Wilson of Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society challenged every festival attendee to post a “happy birthday” video to Canucks Autism Network using the hashtag #CANBdayFest.

“With every video birthday wish posted, the Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society will donate one dollar, up to $10,000, to support Canucks Autism Network,” Wilson said at the free event, which included live music, food trucks, vendors, games and other attractions.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

OUR VIEW: Clean up your act, Surrey MP

Liberal MP Randeep Sarai’s BBQ left a mess in Holland Park. He has since removed it

Surrey’s Laurie Guerra seeks nomination as Conservative candidate in Fleetwood-Port Kells

Former city council candidate steps down as president of Autism BC to make federal bid

Surrey MP gets trashed over trash

If crows could vote: Randeep Sarai’s party in Holland Park leaves a feast for the birds

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Former Surrey Mountie running for council

Jack Hundial, who served 25 years on the force, announced his intentions Monday

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Pressure on for ride hailing, bus options in B.C.

Premiers to press Ottawa for help replacing Greyhound service

Family thanks public 1 year after girl, 13, mysteriously killed in Burnaby park

Police have yet to identify a suspect in Marrisa Shen’s murder

Usain Bolt to make run at pro soccer in Australia

Olympic sprint great has long expressed his love of the game

Duchess of Sussex wears dress by Calgary’s Nonie to Mandela exhibition

Nonie is believed to be the first Canadian based ready-to-wear designer for the duchess

Amazon’s hopes its Prime Day doesn’t go to the dogs

Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links after the 3 p.m. ET launch in the U.S. got images of dogs

Trudeau blasts Putin, Russia following Finland summit but stays mum on Trump

Strong words come one day after a controversial summit between Putin and Trump in Finland

Temperature records break across southern B.C. as heat continues

Whistler broke a 70-year-old record high of 32.2 C with a temperature of 32.9 C

UPDATE: Body of man who went over falls in Golden Ears park recovered

Deceased is 21-year-old man who was visiting from Toronto.

Most Read