Neurodiverse-friendly businesses in the district - Central District Alliance

Neurodiverse-friendly businesses in the district

There is no ‘right’ way of thinking, learning and behaving. Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways. Neurodiversity includes people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), dementia and a range of sensory and information processing differences. 

There are a variety of retail and leisure services, as well as public realm initiatives, within the Central District Alliance BID area which offer support and adjustments for neurodiverse people, including policies for employees. We spoke to The Shaftesbury Theatre, The British Museum and Conway Hall about how they adapt their venues, including performances and exhibitions.

The Shaftesbury Theatre

The Shaftesbury Theatre offers relaxed performances, which accommodates those with neurodiversities by making changes to the lighting, sound and auditorium set up. Visual Stories give a pictorial preview of the theatre and are available all year round to aid any customer who wishes to gain more awareness in advance of their visit, for example to prepare for entering the theatre.

Each performance at The Shaftesbury Theatre has at least one dedicated Access Host for every performance, led by an Access Supervisor. Ear defenders and fidget toys are available to help neurodivergent audience members. 

Learn more here.

The British Museum

Accessible events run twice monthly at The British Museum. The Access Team has made sure that there are spaces where visitors can feel less overwhelmed and stressed during their visit. 

For a calmer visit, the quietest times to take a trip to the museum are when the galleries first open between 10am and 11am, and again in the afternoon after 4pm. A sensory map is available at the front desk, so you can know which spaces are quieter and less overwhelming and ear defenders can be provided. 

There is an opportunity for museum-goers to skip the queue at Great Russell Street, if you explain your situation. You can also walk through the galleries in advance by using Google street view, to gain more awareness in advance of visiting The British Museum.

Book an accessible event here.

Conway Hall

Conway Hall hosts UnMasked – a regular series of conversations with neurodivergent people. It is a place where people can feel at home and contribute to discussion, where everyone is welcome. You can book the next UnMasked session here.

If you have any suggestions for improvements within the CDA area, please contact us to discuss these further – info@centraldistrictalliance.com.

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