AADI’s Failte Programme: Paving the Way for Autism Accessibility and Equality

Thursday, February 08, 2024.

Celebrating a Milestone in Autism Support and Inclusivity with the Failte programme

 

Today, a landmark event unfolded at Dublin’s Mansion House, where Lord Mayor Cllr. Daithí de Róiste joined the Autism Assitance Dogs Ireland (AADI) client family Gemma Crowley, Emma-Rose and their Assistance Dog Kitty to unveil the Failte Programme.

This initiative, backed by prestigious bodies such as IBEC, Failte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, USI, and Cork Chamber of Commerce, marks a pivotal moment in our journey towards a more inclusive society.

 

Understanding the Failte Programme and Badge Certification

 

The Failte Programme and Failte Badge Certification represent AADI’s commitment to transforming public spaces into welcoming environments for families with autism. This program aims to educate and certify businesses, fostering a greater understanding of autism and the support provided by service dogs for families living with autism.

 

Upon completion of an online training course, businesses earn the Failte Badge, symbolising their dedication to supporting families living with autism. This initiative directly addresses the need for increased awareness and accommodation in accordance with the Equality Act, ensuring equal access and equitable treatment.

 

AADI's Failte Programme: Paving the Way for Autism Accessibility and Equality

New ‘Fáilte Badge’ of honour for businesses who welcome autism assistance dogs
Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland (AADI) launched its new Fáilte Programme today (07.02.24) at Dublin’s Mansion House, with special guests the Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Daithí de Róiste, AADI client Emma Rose Crowley (front and centre) who is assisted by dog Kitty, and Emma Rose’s mother Gemma Crowley (2nd row, Lord Mayor of Dublin.Cllr Daithí de Róiste,Sarah Culligan (with dog Ellie), back row Niall O’Halloran, and Michael O’Dea.

“Our goal with the Failte Program is to dismantle the barriers that families with autism frequently encounter,” David Mc Carthy, Head of Fundraising and Communications at AADI, shared. “We’re embarking on a significant step towards a society that wholeheartedly respects and caters to the rights and needs of families and individuals living with autism.”

 

The Lord Mayor’s Endorsement and Vision

 

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Daithí de Róiste, expressed his immense pride in supporting the launch, highlighting the Failte Badge as more than a symbol – it’s a beacon of hope and understanding. By engaging with this program, Irish businesses and organisations not only elevate their service quality but also advocate for equality and accessibility.

 

The roots of the Programme

In 2023 super Volunteer Niall O’Halloran saw an opportunity to engage many of his peers in the hospitality sector and within third level institutions and so set off on a national tour.  The response was overwhelmingly positive and led us to develop the Programme and bring in the new Certification process.

 

The Enthusiastic Response and Vision for the Future

The response to the Failte Programme has been overwhelmingly positive, with national bodies actively promoting the training. David Mc Carthy noted the eagerness of businesses across Ireland to display the Failte Badge. The vision for 2024 is clear: expand the program’s reach and witness its transformative impact on families with autism.

 

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