Level 1 Partners
To receive the ranking of a Level 1 Autism Friendly Community Partner, the following criteria must be met:
- The business/organization/group, its managers, employees, and volunteers have made a public commitment to train its staff in autism awareness.
- The business has agreed to include AFC training in their orientation of new employees and set up initial training for current staff.
- The business will agree that 100% of management complete the training.
- The business understands that employees who personally deal with customers/clients must be trained.
- The business will agree to track and keep date of Autism Friendly training in employee personnel files.
Level 2 Partners
To receive the ranking of a Level 2 Autism Friendly Community Partner, in addition to the Level 1 training requirements, at least one of the following criteria must be met:
- The business has agreed to make small modifications/adjustments to their premises to help support those with autism and their caregivers in order to provide a better and more inclusive experience. This may include environmental adjustments like lighting changes, noise adjustments, or a location for someone to take a break/calm down.
- The business has agreed to hosting a special sensory friendly day/time to participate in an activity/event.
- The business has agreed to providing visual supports around the premises, such as creating a social story for specific activities/experiences or adding pictures to their signage in addition to word-only signs.
- The business has agreed to provide tools for customers to check out and use during their experience, such as providing sensory bags/equipment.
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We hope to partner with business leaders with the goal to equip local businesses with sufficient knowledge of autism and other developmental disabilities to ensure confidence and comfort in providing a quality experience for the business, families and individuals affected by autism.
Did you know that the word “philanthropy” means “love of humanity”? It originated in ancient Greece from the playwright, Aeschylus. Today, philanthropy means helping to develop and care for human beings. Philanthropy benefits those who receive, but also those who give. A true philanthropist works towards and cares about improving humanity. Your business has an opportunity to become a philanthropist business leader in our community by becoming an Autism Friendly Community Partner. The mission is to create an environment of awareness, acceptance and understanding of autism by providing free training, tools, and assistance to local businesses and organizations.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. People with autism may also have sensory issues. These sensitivities can include light, sound, smell, touch, and other sensations.
Even though there are many individuals diagnosed with autism (3.5 million Americans), families tend to isolate themselves from the community. This is to avoid hurtful reactions or stigma from others. This isolation can lead to many issues, including but not limited to depression. Autism not only affects individuals and families, but also impacts our community.
With more people becoming aware, growth in the community will happen. The North Dakota Autism Center has developed a training for area businesses on becoming an Autism Friendly Community Partner.
Join the growing movement of businesses in the West Fargo/Fargo/Moorhead area who want to set themselves apart from others by investing in caring and exceptional customer service.