Official AsIAm Autism Friendly Visitor Experience

The Final Draft > Smithwick’s Experience becomes an Official AsIAm Autism Friendly Visitor Experience

Smithwick’s Experience becomes an Official AsIAm Autism Friendly Visitor Experience

Smithwick’s Experience becomes an Official AsIAm Autism Friendly Visitor Experience

Along with the Guinness Storehouse and Roe & Co Distillery, Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny is proud to be an AsIAm Autism friendly accredited visitor experience. Along with increased training for staff and more signage, there will now be designated tours that will allow those with neurodivergencies to get the most out of their experience. It marks an important milestone in Diageo’s commitment to increasing accessibility and making tours more inclusive for all guests.

After extensive training, Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny is proud to be an official AsIAm Autism Friendly Accredited visitor experience in cooperation with Ireland’s National Autism Charity, AsIAm. Committed to creating an inclusive society for adults and children alike with autism, AsIAm was founded by Adam Harris in 2014 drawing on his experience growing up as a young autistic person in Ireland. Since then, it’s become Ireland’s National Autism Charity providing training, promoting awareness, and lobbying for increased inclusivity for autistic individuals within society.

As part of the accreditation process with AsIAm, a review of Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny was conducted to provide recommendations as to how it could increase accessibility and help visitors with neurodivergencies prepare for their visit. Following the review, a number of changes were made to ensure it could make the overall experience as inclusive and enjoyable as possible for all. This included extensive training of staff on site so that they can better understand how to interact with and cater to visitors with autism or neurodivergencies. At the reception area, sensory kits are now available on request. This includes ear plugs and sensory maps along with a visual guide to the building marking possible high sensory areas. Additionally, extra on-site signage will also be placed around the building marking these sensory triggers.

To ensure neurodiverse guests can be appropriately accommodated, a ‘Sensory Friendly’ Smithwick’s Experience tour will also be offered once a month. On the first Thursday of every month, our 12pm experience will be adapted with reduced noise and lighting, and with possible high sensory areas specifically marked. Simply purchase this on our regular ticket booking page by choosing the 12pm tour on the first Thursday of any month.

Speaking about the recent accreditation of the Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny, the Guinness Storehouse and Roe & Co Distillery, CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris, remarked: “It has been a pleasure working with the team to educate their staff, assess the environments and to help enhance these amazing experiences to ensure that autistic visitors, their families, and those who process the sensory environment differently, get the same chance to enjoy these wonderful visitor attractions. These partnerships with industry leaders are essential to create more inclusive and welcoming experiences for all.”

If you want to plan ahead for your visit, feel free to download the sensory map here along with our visual guide pointing you through the high sensory areas in the building. This is part of Diageo’s ongoing commitment to a journey of accessibility and understanding and you can read more about our charter of inclusion at Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny here.

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