A scheme to make it easier for people with autism to access public transport is working well in South Wales.
Carefully designed Orange Wallets will let transport staff know that people carrying it may need help with their journey. Inside there are plastic inserts containing information in a written or pictorial format in order to communicate with staff. It is intended to help people, especially those on the Autistic Spectrum, to cope more easily with public transport. The project is based on schemes already running in Devon and Pembrokeshire.
Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, Cllr Huw Thomas said: “People who find it difficult to communicate or those with disabilities often find public transport difficult to use which can make the experience stressful and isolating. This can reduce their confidence to travel independently.
“The Orange Wallet scheme has been developed to help make journeys by bus or train easier for anyone with communication difficulties. It will also give transport staff a better understanding of the requirements of all disabled passengers. These wallets are now available in libraries across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and I would encourage people who would benefit from this extra help, to use them.”
Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils are working in partnership with a number of transport providers in South Wales including Arriva Trains Wales, Stagecoach, Cardiff Bus, First Group and First Great Western to roll out the scheme.
The wallet contains space for the user to insert written and/or visual prompts to show staff. Staff in public transport services across Wales have been trained to recognise the wallet and will know to provide appropriate help. The scheme is one of a range of collaborative regional projects funded by the Welsh Government as part of the All Wales Autistic Spectrum Disorders strategy.