About Us Mission, Vision and Values Mission, Vision and Values Our Mission To create a more autism friendly society by promoting understanding and acceptance of autistic people. Our Vision To create a world where autistic people are understood, accepted and have equal access to opportunities. Our Values Positive – We are proactive, optimistic, creative and determined. We focus on strengths, not weaknesses, and believe that anyone can achieve their dreams if they are surrounded by positive people Empowering – We instill trust and confidence in people and support them to acquire the means to take control of their lives, develop resilience and become more independent. We give people the means to take command of their circumstances, exercise their power and achieve their goals Passionate – We love what we do, and have complete belief in our mission. We are focused on our vision, have a strong team ethic and strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for people Inclusive – We help to create better communities for all, and make sure everyone has their voice heard. We view each person as an equal, regardless of their background, abilities, preferences or beliefs Caring – We care deeply about the people we support, our colleagues, and our mission. Caring is at the heart of everything we do, and we always strive to deliver our aims with kindness, compassion, honesty and understanding What autism means to us We appreciate that there are many different viewpoints and perspectives on autism and what it means to be autistic, so we think it is important to share the ethos which guides how we view and support autistic people. To find out more, you can read our Autism Policy here. Our policy is shaped by feedback from autistic people, their families and our own experiences of supporting autistic people. If you would like to provide feedback about our autism policy, please don't hesitate to contact us. Helping to create a more autism friendly city… How are we going to achieve this? Most of the work we currently undertake is providing direct support to autistic adults. However, as a Leeds based autism charity we view ourselves as having a wider responsibility towards autistic people within our area. Most people who are receive an autism diagnosis will not be entitled to, or necessarily receive direct support; yet research shows that autistic people are less likely to succeed in finding and maintaining gainful employment, developing relationships or having equal access to facilities and opportunities. Here at Leeds Autism Services, we believe that by promoting neurodiversity and a better understanding of autism amongst the wider population, we can help to achieve real change in the experiences of autistic people. We aim to work with organisations within the private and public sectors to educate, enlighten and show the benefits which people on the spectrum bring to our communities. We also aim to work with businesses or service providers to make their products more accessible to people with autism thereby promoting wider acceptance and accessibility for people on the autistic spectrum. Some of the work we’ve done so far… Working with Leeds Bradford Airport to provide advice on how to make flying more accessible and appealing to people with autism. Part of this work involved producing information to tell people what to expect when they use the airport and where to get help if they need. Our work with LBA is ongoing. Work with a supermarket chain to make one of their Leeds stores more accessible to people on the spectrum. This included information about the store for people on the spectrum and sharing ideas about how they could make the store more autism friendly. Delivering a talk about autism to post-16 students who were studying to work in the travel industry. Talking to epilepsy professionals about autism and transition. Co-hosting the Bigger and Better in Leeds annual event which aims to promote a positive view of autism and provide information about services within the city which promote autism acceptance. Providing training to health teams, social care providers and private sector businesses about autism.