Drew Webb

Autism Acceptance: Accessibility Resources at Woburn Safari Park

Posted: 2nd April, 2024

Natasha Kyle, Head of Education & Customer Liaison at Woburn Safari Park, on the Park's accessibility developments.

Lots of exciting accessibility advancements have recently been taking place at Woburn Safari Park, from having our changing places toilet installed at the beginning of 2023, to creating downloadable resources for guests with additional needs.

The Park will be taking part in the BIAZA World Autism Acceptance Campaign for a second year running, which our SEN Friendly Workshop Days were inspired from and have proven to be very popular. During these workshop days families were able to provide us with feedback on our activities and make suggestions on how we could develop our provision further.

From this feedback we were able to identify that visitors really wanted to have resources available prior to their visit to assist with planning. We then started to create communication boards and a social script with the help of Laura from April Cottage Therapies. Laura is a qualified speech and language therapist and has worked as part of NHS and multi-academy trust school teams to provide support for pre-schoolers and school-aged children in mainstream settings and communication and interaction departments.

We created 5 boards to cover key areas such as self-care and food and drink, these can be found here.

These resources have complimented our workshop days and I believe the key to our success with these workshops is due to our staff being honest and transparent about our accessibility journey and listening to what our visitors want and need from us rather than us assuming their needs.

Laura also assisted with putting us in touch with Widget to discuss becoming a symbol friendly organization. This will allow us to support learning and communication across the Safari Park and to create further resources for our visitors.

We also started to research how we could improve the accessibility of our website, in which we found Recite Me. This is an accessibility toolbar that makes websites digitally inclusive by allowing visitors to customise content so that they can consume it in ways that work best for them. The toolbar is equipped with reading aids, screen reader tools and much more and the Park is proud to be the first zoological collection in the UK to use this!

Lastly, we have installed British Sign Language interpretation boards around the Foot Safari to raise awareness of BSL and its importance to our visitors. One of our keepers Hannah has showcased these recently here.

On behalf of the Safari Park I’d like to thank all the individuals who have contributed and i look forward to continuing to make Woburn Safari Park a more inclusive day out for our visitors.

Useful contact information
- Laura-Speech and Language Therapist:
           Instagram account-Chatty Chops
           Email- [email protected] 
- Widget - [email protected]
- Julie Beckett- [email protected]
- Interpretation board supplier- [email protected]


- Natasha Kyle, Head of Education & Customer Liaison at Woburn Safari Park

All blogs reflect the views of their author and are not necessarily a reflection of BIAZA's positions. 

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