Unusual and challenging behaviours can isolate and exclude individuals from the local community and society as a whole. Often, this is not down to the actual behaviours themselves, but rather the stigma and attitudes that are faced by both the individuals needing support to manage their behaviours and those providing the support to them.
Parents and carers are often faced with a sense of embarrassment and isolation when a melt-down or socially inappropriate behaviour takes place in public. This can lead to restricted opportunities to socialize for an individual. As we strive to make society more inclusive and acceptable for all, a greater push is needed to generate a better awareness and understanding of where certain behaviours may come from and how best to support someone through them, or at the very least to make things easier for the parent or carer trying to help the individual.
The BIS-net Awards scheme aims to create a better network of understanding and support in Exeter. Awards will be available for community facilities who work with us to develop understanding of underlying conditions which may lead to unusual or challenging behaviour, who are willing to make reasonable adjustments to meet people’s needs, and who have learnt some simple support strategies to assist both the individual and their parent or carer. On achieving this, they will receive the Award, which can be displayed on promotional material.
Take up of the scheme has been encouraging, and many places in Exeter are now able to provide better customer service to customers with hidden disabilities. 100 years ago these people were often removed from the community, and lived in hospitals, or the old asylum. They were, in a sense, invisible, and their needs weren’t considered in the local community. Times have changed and city centres are now working hard to make sure they are accessible to all. This is a real advantage to businesses, as these people have money to spend, and tend to become exceptionally loyal customers when they are treated with respect and have a positive experience somewhere.
If you are a community setting and would like to be part of the scheme, please get in touch with us using the via email or by phoning Sam Harris on 077 1506 8494 or 01392 360645.
If you are a young person, parent, carer or professional, and would like to be involved in the delivery of the award scheme then we also want to hear from you. We draw on our own experience and those of others to deliver training which is relevant and provides strategies which work.