York Minster to host events and services for World Autism Acceptance Week

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York Minster From M S
York Minster From M S

York Minster will be hosting a range of events and services for World Autism Acceptance Week from Wednesday, 29 March, until Sunday, 2 April. The theme for this year’s activities is “Spectrum Colour”.

The programme of events will focus on the needs of people living with neurodiverse and sensory conditions. To create a calm and peaceful visiting environment for people with these conditions, capacity inside the Minster will be reduced at key times during the week.

The inclusive and accessible five-day programme includes creative art workshops, storytelling, dance, drama, singing, and mindfulness sessions. On Saturday, 1 April, visitors can experience a sound installation in the medieval Chapter House that will feature the waves of a sound bath. The Minster will also trial British Sign Language Interpretation at two services of Choral Evensong during the week.

Hannah Parker, Head of Visitor Experience and Chair of York Minster’s Inclusivity and Accessibility committee, said, “York Minster is pleased to be participating in World Autism Acceptance Week for the first time. We have worked with local partners to design an inclusive and accessible programme of activities and events for people living with neurodiverse conditions. To make this happen, we will reduce visitor numbers so there will be fewer people in the Minster to create ‘relaxed hours’ – quiet times when the noise in the Minster will be minimised to avoid sensory overload, which can be disturbing and overwhelming for people living with these conditions.”

Parker added, “A big part of our mission at York Minster is to include, engage and inspire the people we welcome. By participating in Autism Acceptance Week, we hope to provide a welcoming and inclusive space in the city, and York Minster is proud to support that vision.”

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