Autistic Pride Day: Taking the Mask Off

Autistic Pride Day is celebrated on June 18, advocating for inclusivity, equality and respect for autistic voices. NHS Barnsley is proud to celebrate and honour the unique strengths and contributions of our autistic colleagues and community members. 

Autistic Pride

2024's Autistic Pride Day Theme

The theme for this year is "Taking the Mask Off," which highlights the importance of embracing one's natural behaviours, preferences, and ways of interacting with the world. This theme is both profound and liberating, promoting authenticity and encouraging autistic individuals to reject societal pressures that compel them to hide their true selves.

Our Efforts

On the 12th of June, we hosted the Autism Reality Experience on-site. This immersive event provided our staff with a profound understanding of the sensory challenges faced by individuals on the autism spectrum. The insights gained from this experience have been invaluable in enhancing our ability to support our autistic colleagues and patients, fostering greater empathy and awareness throughout our organization.

Our dedication to inclusivity is further demonstrated by the efforts of the Ability Network, which had its first in-person event this month. The Ability Network is a vital platform for our staff members living with disabilities and their allies, providing a space to voice concerns, share experiences, and drive positive changes within our hospital. This network has been instrumental in developing critical resources, such as the Workplace Adjustments Guide and the Neurodiversity Guide. These documents offer essential information and tools to support our neurodivergent colleagues, ensuring that everyone can thrive in their roles.

In addition to these initiatives, we are excited to highlight the rollout of the Wellbeing Passport as part of the appraisal process. This passport is designed to help staff articulate their reasonable adjustments and support needs in discussions with their managers, ensuring that everyone receives the necessary accommodations to perform at their best.

We highly encourage all staff to actively engage with these initiatives, utilize the available resources, and participate in conversations that promote understanding and acceptance. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for our autistic colleagues and the broader community.

Join us in celebrating Autistic Pride Day and let’s continue to champion diversity and inclusion at NHS Barnsley. Together, we can achieve excellence by embracing the unique perspectives and talents of all our staff members.

Visit the following resources for more information: 

Autism | Finding out more | Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Learning Disabilities and Autism | Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Paediatric Autism Assessment Service | Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Autism Referral Hub | Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust