Preparations for Autism Awareness Week
We are working with Hard Days Out to become more inclusive and Autism Friendly! As part of our 'Ark for All' project we are working on a long term plan to make Noah's Ark Zoo Farm an inclusive attraction.
In 2018 the 'Ark for All' project began at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm with the aim to be a welcoming an inclusive zoo for all. The first stage of the process was to build a brand new Changing Places facility with some accessible play equipment to suit all ages and abilities. The new facilities were opened by Paralympic Champion Andy Lewis and an annual member of the zoo who with his family campaigned for us to get the facilities.
The facilities have had an incredible impact for many families with visitors able to enjoy a day out together as a family.
A recent visitor, when asked what the best bit of the zoo was, said:
"The accessibility - my 8 year old son is cognitively a normal little boy but has profound motor disabilities so is a full time wheelchair user, and is totally dependant on his Dad and I for everything he needs. Having the changing places facility was the reason we actually visited ... Having the accessible play equipment was the icing on the cake :)" Survey Monkey Response March 2020.
The feedback from our visitors has driven the next phase of the project, to provide further training for our staff and to introduce the project into our 2020 events. Weston College is supporting the zoo with this training with many members of staff taking part in level 2 training course on Autism Awareness, Mental Health Awareness and much more.
We are working with our Partners at Hard Days Out. Hard Days Out encourage and support families and children with additional needs; giving tips & tricks to make days & experiences easy.Their team works in collaboration with venues, business and companies to promote inclusion and disability; offering workshops, training, resources and consultancy. The next of these workshops will be held at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm on Friday 20th March in preparation for Autism Awareness Week. The workshop will support Noah's Ark and other venues in the South West to become more inclusive venues.