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Disability Friendly Places to go this Summer.


Disability Friendly Places to go this Summer.

The summer is well and truly on here and we are all looking forward to some hard earned weeks of rest and relaxation basking within the hot sun (don’t forget the Sun Cream!). There are plenty of places to head out and enjoy in Ireland however whilst to us the summer is responsibility free, the situation is different for other people. For families of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, a simple family holiday requires precise planning and strategy.

Preparation is key, for many families.

This may involve pictures of a social story of going on an airplane so the child or adult can become familiar with it. Or packing familiar items from home such as toys/blankets/food/DVDS so the individual will feel more reassured and comfortable. An example of this would be to bring a duvet and pillows from home that will create familiarisation. A typical holiday situation can be difficult for those with Autism/Down Syndrome/ learning disability, especially factors such as crowds, noise and smells can easily upset them so it’s important that places to visit provide the right amenities for these families.

Many of our avail parents use the avail solution to create visual step-by-step guides,which builds understand of these events. To have these multimedia social stories on a portable device, means there is easy of use and can be pulled out at any stage. If you are going on holidays abroad, we would recommend thinking about creating the following tasks:

  • Packing my clothes and favourite toys
  • Going on the airplane
  • Rules when on holiday (stay close, putting on sun-cream etc)
  • Going to the restaurant
  • Going to the beach

Top avail tip: Make it personal to your child and holiday, also (second tip!) involve them in the creation of the content and use their voice. They will love to watch the stories back, if they are the star of the show! 

Want more information, feel free to chat to us using our chat option at the bottom of this page or contact us if you would like to know more about how avail can help your child or adult.

Another step for business to take is ensuring all staff have disability awareness training so they can welcome, accommodated and support individuals so they can best enjoy the activities they offer. Sadly, it seems some places don’t have the facilities to accommodate those who need them, leading to a lack of enjoyment for some but the future is here and things can change with a little help from everyone who wants to make a change. There are some places to go in Ireland that will offer facilities which will ensure those who with Autism and others with special needs can enjoy these places just as much as everyone else… Maybe even more.

1)Tayto Park

Tayto park is a popular day out for families and school tours. We are delighted to see the active measure they have offered, including free admission for carers and a Ride Access System to reduce queuing time.

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2)DUBLIN ZOO

A trip to the Zoo has to be on the cards this summer!

Carers go free of charge when they purchase a Special Needs ticket. Remember to bring necessary documentation. Enjoy a fun filled day out and see all the amazing animals.

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3)ODEON CINEMA CHAIN

This cinema chain offers film performances for people in wheelchairs, blind, partially sighted, deaf, autistic and sensory difficulties. ODEON hosts specially adapted Autism Friendly Screenings of new releases one Sunday each month at 11:30am. They have over 90 ODEON cinemas throughout the UK and Ireland participating every month.

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4)KIDSPACE

Based in Rathfarnam this play space offers a safe sensory playground so all children can have a fun time and plenty of adventure.

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5) lolotown

A little town for big imaginations. LoLo Town is a very unique educational play centre for kids of all ages.


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6)ULSTER FOLK AND TRANSPORT MUSEUM

Free of charge admission for carers and children. Priority queuing for children with disabilities.

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7)CARMEL FALLON HOLIDAY CENTRE

Caters to those with sensory and physical disabilities and a truly lovely place to go

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8)SHARE DISCOVER VILLAGE

Love the outdoors? Check out these activities and camping facilities.

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9)CUISLE HOLIDAY CENTRE

Filled with plenty of activities and accessible for everyone. A great place to enjoy the summer

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10)THE DARK HEDGES

Used as a location for the filming of hit TV Show Game of Thrones and a truly magical place to explore

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11)BELFAST ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN

With plenty of attractions and things to see and do. This place is a must see.

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12)NEWCASTLE

Recently hailed as Northern Ireland’s first autistic friendly town and they have plans to soon build a resort.

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13)SHANLIEVE HOLIDAY PARK

With great facilities and beautiful views of the mountains of mourne, a great place to visit.

The Mourne's , Shanlieve Holiday Park, Milne Holiday Park

14)LIOSDOIRE HOLIDAY HOME

With plenty of facilities and catering for everyone, this is truly a great place to within one of the gems of the Irish Countryside.

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15)Drogheda Leisure Park

Offer a range of activities including bowling, football and soft play. Although we are more excited about their sensory room, the first Leisure Park in Ireland to provide this.

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A number of disability friendly places and camps that we are aware of:

1)BLOSSOM IRELAND

Blossom Ireland runs a number of clubs for all children and there are plenty of fun activities for everyone.

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2)LOUTH AUTISM SUPPORT

Louth Autism Support runs clubs for children and classes to support parents.

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3)Monaghan Autism Parent Support

Set up by a Mother of three children with Autism, MAPS offer camps throughout the year, in addition to supporting parents.

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4)SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTS ASSOCIATION

Formed of parents with special needs children running clubs and activities for everyone and lots of fun guaranteed

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5)SOLAS

Supporting additional needs and autism in Northern Ireland. Their Big Smile summer scheme offers children with autism aged 4 to 11 years the opportunity to engage in play and fun activities in a supported environment. One–to-one staffing allows the groups to go on a range of trips to places such as the zoo, the park, horse riding and Streamvale farm.

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We hope this will help your family enjoy the holiday season and find the perfect family adventure. Please feel free to note any other activities or share your experience so we can pass them on to other families.

Remember adventure begins right as soon as you step outside your front door.

Have a great summer visiting these Disability Friendly Places!