world autism awareness week 2021 text on blue and purple background with man playing on a nintendo switch

World Autism Awareness Week 2021

“One in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)” – The World Health Organisation (WHO)

World Autism Awareness Week is a week in which people come together to raise awareness about the condition and to also raise money for different charities that provide support for people with Autism.

Autism and the Access Card

Here at The Access Card, we support many cardholders to help them discreetly communicate the barriers they might face when out and about or visiting shows, events or tourist destinations and have provided some more information about some of the typical access requirements we have processed.

Everyone is different and experiences their needs in different ways, but here are some examples based on our experience.

Standing and Queuing

three cartoon people silhouettes standing in a diagonal row

Whether you have difficulty with physically being in a queue for a significant period of time, difficulty with the concept of queuing, or have difficulty with being in a queue/ crowded spaces, the ‘Standing & Queuing’ symbol can be added to your Access Card to help communicate this access requirement. 

Different providers have their own ways of accommodating this access requirement. 

For example, AO Arena has 3 different accessible entrance points into the arena to make sure you can avoid queuing with the bulk of the crowd.

Theme parks, such as Chessington World of Adventures Resort, will issue a Ride Access Pass to Access Card Holders with the ‘standing & queuing’ symbol on their card. 

A Ride Access Pass (RAP) is a virtual queuing system designed to make reasonable adjustments to assist guests who do not understand the concept of queuing, have a physical disability that prevents them from standing for extended periods of time or permanently non-ambulant guests.

Essential Companions


For those that require a substantial amount of support from another person (e.g. needing supervision to keep them safe, or understanding visual or audible information), we have the ‘+1’ symbol, which indicates to providers that you require a substantial amount of support from another person in order to access a venue’s facilities. 

This symbol is widely acknowledged by our providers as an automatic entitlement to free tickets/entry for people providing you with support during your visit.

For example, theme parks like Thorpe Park offer a free essential companion ticket to Access Card Holders with a ‘+1’ symbol on their card.

If you’re going to see a show at a venue like The O2 Arena the ‘+1’ symbol will allow them to allocate a free companion ticket.

Face Mask Exemptions

the outline of a face mask

More recently, throughout COVID, we have had a number of people whose needs mean that they are either unable to put on, wear or remove a face covering, or that they can feel distressed when wearing a face covering and as a response to feedback from our members we now have an additional face mask symbol for those that need it.

There are a number of face mask exemption cards and certificates available in the UK, but we are the only face mask exemption card that offers verification of your exemption.

Thinking of applying for a Card?

If you think the above would be useful for you and would like to apply for your Access Card you can do so quickly and easily by completing our short online application form and uploading some supporting information confirming your needs.

All applications received from people with Autism during Autism week can use the discount code ‘autismweek’ to get £5 off a three-year Access Card.

access card

Further Sources of Information, Advice and Support

Check out our full directory for how these symbols apply at over 1,000 venues in the UK and beyond.

National Autistic Society

“We are the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. Since 1962, we have been providing support, guidance and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights, services and opportunities to help create a society that works for autistic people.”

National Autistic Society

020 7833 2299

Autism Together

“Autism Together is now one of the country’s leading providers of services and support to people with autism and their families. We campaign on behalf of all individuals affected by autism, we encourage all our supporters to get involved with fundraising and volunteering with us and offer comprehensive training and job development to our employees.”

Autism Together

0151 482 3128

Late Diagnosis

Late diagnosis in adults is something we’re coming across more frequently and whilst we couldn’t find any specific services, we did manage to find an interesting article on the National Autistic Society‘s website.