Following informal engagement with a selection of Sandwell’s community groups by SMBC, a reoccurring issue was highlighted. This issue was a lack of understanding of the autistic spectrum disorder, how to obtain a formal diagnosis and services available in Sandwell to support individuals and their families.
It was stated that this was particularly heightened in black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. A subsequent targeted needs assessment was undertaken within faith communities to determine understanding of autism and the perceived barriers to accessing services, as well as providing an opportunity to propose the methods of overcoming these barriers. Lack of awareness sessions and information in community languages were cited.
In response to this feedback, SMBC and various partner agencies, namely Autism west Midlands, Children’s centres, SENDIASS, Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children, Caudwell Children and Special Olympics Sandwell have worked together to create an event that will provide an overview of autism and services available in Sandwell.
The event will be at Brasshouse Lane Community Centre, Smethwick on Tuesday 18th October 10-12pm. No booking is required. it is a free event for anyone that wants to know more about autism.
To make the event inclusive, flyers have been sent in various community languages to our communities. On the day, literature will be available in a range of languages and volunteers from the Yemeni Community Association and Guru Nanak Gurdwara will be on hand to provide interpretation in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, and Arabic on the day.
For further information, please contact Saba Yafai, Public Health Development Officer, Communities and Partnerships, on 07825 963 310.