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Bristol to review how they can become a more autism-friendly city.

Bristol City Council has announced a review into how they can become a more autism-friendly city.

The authority and the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership have commissioned a non-statutory review of services which will establish how autism aware local agencies across Bristol are, and will include national recommendations for making Bristol and other cities more user-friendly for people with a learning disability and/or autism.

Carried out independently by Sir Stephen Bubb, the review is currently underway and the findings will be published on the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership website before the end of the year.

It is estimated that around 700,000 are living with autism in the UK. People with the condition process the world around them in a different, more intense way to other people and can often feel overwhelmed in busy, public places which can lead to people with autism being misunderstood or isolated.

People with autism also may be finding adjusting to the current restrictions and government guidance on social-distancing and self-isolating particularly tricky.

Cllr Helen Holland, cabinet lead for Adult Social Care, said: ‘It is really important that our services in Bristol, who often work with very vulnerable people, have a good understanding of autism, can recognise the signs of someone who may be autistic and know how to respond.

‘In Bristol we want people with autism to have the same opportunities as everyone else and the recommendations from this review will enable us to understand how we can do this effectively.

Sir Stephen said: ‘The Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership are to be congratulated for setting up this review into the many failings of the systems that should care for people with learning disabilities or autism.

‘I have been speaking to three families in particular and am extremely concerned at what they are telling me. I would hope that all agencies locally can learn from my review how these failings can occur and what we need to do to change things for the better.

‘In reviewing these three cases I want to make more general recommendations for action that will have a real impact on the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.’

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