WE started the ball rolling last year – and we’re not done yet!

So despite a coronavirus lock-down, and all of us being stuck in these frightening and confusing times – if the world is online - then we want to be too.

Why? Because we’re back on the road to acceptance and we won’t stop until we’ve changed the narrative on autism and neurodiversity.


Not even lockdown can stop us from pushing ahead with our drive for autism acceptance.

For we have launched yet another ‘first’ in light of the coronavirus lockdown so Autism Acceptance week activities can go ahead – taking our campaign into homes all across the region.

Launching today, www.autismacceptance.org.uk for the first day of world Autism Awareness Acceptance Week which takes place from March 30 – April 5, the new online platform is the first of its kind in the country.

Specifically designed to help families during this difficult time the new website will feature all the usual articles and content you’d expect from the Society and its Acceptance campaigns but has also made room for some fun, family functions too.

Included on the new site will be gaming areas, fitness videos, mindfulness tools, virtual events and so much more.

Among the highlights coming next week will be the Great Minds historic walking tour led by Alexander Iles of Iles Tours. Originally planned for the Saturday of Acceptance week it had to be postponed due to coronavirus restrictions but the team set to work to turn the event into a free virtual tour instead.

John Phillipson, chief executive for the North East Autism Society, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the fundraising and marketing teams who have been working together – from home – to make sure all of our families – and the wider autistic community and those in their lives, still have access to positive, helpful tools and content during a week when all eyes are on autism.”

Last year the team sought to change the narrative on autism with its Going for Gold campaign. And despite some of the more ambitious plans being postponed for there’s some fantastic things to look forward to.

Fundraising Manager, Kevin Meikle said: “We are still going to see lots of landmarks illuminated in gold – and we are even asking families to join in for an hour on Thursday evening at 7pm – by turning all their lights on so we still light up the north east skies gold in a show of acceptance for all of us who are autistic or neurodiverse.

“These changes have obviously impacted our fundraising with things like the Walk for Autism Acceptance having to be postponed but it’s a unique situation and we wanted to support our supporters as much as we could.”

Sunderland buildings including the Penshaw Monument and Northern Spire bridge will still be going gold – as will Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge thanks to the generosity of Michael Lewis of Breakout Media in Teesside who sponsored this event.

Families wishing to join the Society in its drive for acceptance can visit the main website now to download a ‘home pack’ full of crafts and fun activities, they can tune in next week for a serialisation of the animated audio book Snowdrop the Spikeshuffler, they can catch interviews discussing why acceptance is important for the autistic community and lots more.

Follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NEAutismSociety 

And our new website here: www.autismacceptance.org.uk