The Devon Autism Alert Card

On this page:

  • The Devon Autism Alert Card is a tool and a support system
  • The three situations where it is most effective
  • What makes the Devon Autism Alert Card so effective
  • How the support system can deliver for everybody

If you want to apply for a card now, go to our Alert Card online application form or you can download an Alert Card application form as a pdf. You can also call us direct at 07421 77 88 09 or email autismcard@dimensionsforliving.org .

Devon Autism Alert Card Plymouth Torbay

What is the Devon Autism Alert Card?

 

The Devon Autism Alert Card is free. It is made from high quality plastic in a credit card style and clearly states that the holder is on the Autism Spectrum. The holder’s name and a unique identifying number are embossed onto it.

Fitting easily into a wallet or purse, the card can be effortlessly displayed not only to calm a stressful situation but also to prevent these situations arising.

The Alert Card is also part of a support system that Dimensions For Living operates.

Dimensions For Living:

Other supporters

Devon County Council, Plymouth Council, Torbay Council, Devon & Cornwall Police and Devon Link Up support the Devon Autism Alert Card Project along with other organisations (and a big thank you to the Devon Autism Alert Card supporters).

The Devon & Cornwall Police are committed to rolling out programs to teach its officers about Autism, how it impacts policing and how the police can better manage situations with members of the Autism Community.

Devon County Council, Plymouth Council and Torbay Council have organised the funding of the project and they too are enthusiastic participants who recognise the need for support for all involved in the Autism Community in Devon.

Unfortunately this Autism card is currently only available to people living within Devon, Plymouth and Torbay but should this become available to people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly we will put details here. In the meantime, please do read the information on our website and sign up to our newsletter to keep in contact.

However even though the card is only available to residents of Devon it can be used in other areas. The Devon & Cornwall Police will recognise it in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, whilst other areas have similar initiatives and the authoritative nature of the card is enough for all parties to take it seriously.

What is the Devon Autism Alert Card for?

 

Feeling self-conscious, worried or concerned when outside the security of our own home is a major stress for those of us on the Autism Spectrum. This stress just adds to the isolation that tends to come with Autism.

The Autism Alert Card is a powerful tool for the Autism Community to use:

  • In an emergency situation
  • To prevent an emergency situation arising
  • To boost confidence

When we show the card we get a better response, more chance of support and a stress-free outcome and we can handle things with more confidence.

But it is not just for the Autism Community. It is also for the many members of the Autism Community who, even though they can not be cardholders, will still benefit from the Autism Card's use.

Why is it effective?

DFL Autism Alert Card B

  • Authoritative

It displays the logos of Dimensions For Living and the Devon & Cornwall Police, both of which emphasise the official nature of the card. It also has Dimensions For Living’s phone number on for further confirmation and help, along with its web address.

  • Demands that people take our condition into account and alter their behaviour

The cardholder is not asking the recipient to make allowances for their behaviour. The text points out that the recipient’s behaviour needs to be Autism friendly because we have the right to be communicated with respectfully.

  • Acts as a visual aid

Just telling someone that we are Autistic can easily be forgotten, misheard or just plain ignored if the hearer is worried. The card gives clear visual information, and handling it makes it even more real. When we use the card it can not be ignored, especially as it is displaying the Devon & Cornwall Police logo.

  • It has clear simple advice

Even if the recipient knows nothing about Autism, the five lines of text on the back are a quick and effective introduction. They do not patronise either party, and give specific advice on what might be happening.

  • There are emergency contact numbers on it

There is space for two emergency contact names and numbers. It also has contact information for Dimensions For Living. We are here to help

  • Showing it means that The Autism Act 2009 and The Equality Act 2010 should be followed

It’s not just for us, it’s backed by the law. Once displayed, the card confirms that the cardholder is Autistic and:

  • Local Authorities and the NHS should take this account when communicating with you
  • All other organisations should be aware that you come under the Equally Act and should, where this is possible, make reasonable adjustments to meet your needs
  • This does not refer only to state organisations. In most cases private companies and other organisations must make reasonable adjustments to your needs
  • Embossing makes it as secure and long lasting as bank cards

Unlike other Autism Alert Cards, we take the trouble to emboss your name and a unique identifying number on the card. Not only will it last and last but it is also securely labelled - the name will not rub off.

Your unique identifying number has your date of birth encoded into it for even more security and on top of this each card has a unique issue number - safely stored in our database to protect you against fraud. 

The Devon Autism Alert card is a support system as well

 

Dimensions For Living does not just send you a card, it also gives wide-ranging support.

Please note:

  • if you require emergency and/or urgent support then it would be better to contact the emergency services. We can not offer medical advice.
  • If you have any needs not connected to Autism, then we are not the right people to contact. 
  • We may direct you an organisation that can give you dedicated support in the area that you need. That way you can be sure of receiving the help that you deserve.
  • Help to apply

Some of us will find it easy to use the online application form, some will prefer phone and some will prefer to use a paper form. Some will need more support than others.

Dimensions For Living works with Autistic individuals or those applying on their behalf to make a successful application.

If an applicant prefers not to use the online application page then Dimensions For Living can:

  • Fill out a form face to face
  • Complete a form with the applicant over the phone and send it to be signed with a stamped addressed envelope (SAE) to return it
  • Send a form to be completed offline with an SAE
  • Use phone (07421 77 88 09), Skype or FaceTime to guide the applicant
  • Just plain chat about all questions and concerns

Look here at the various options in the Autism Alert Card application process

  • Support and guidance on its use

It is a simple card, right? Wrong! It is far more than that. The Autism Alert Card is a powerful declaration of our rights and can be used in more ways than any one individual can imagine.

So we supply an information pack (with a dvd and links to online videos) with each card offering advice and guidance on:

  • How to use it to advise people that you have Autism
  • Where to use it
  • What you might want to say when you use it
  • What other ways a card can be useful

Find out more on where & how to use the Autism Alert Card for people on the Spectrum

  • Helpful advice and insights on our website

Behind all this is our website: www.dimensionsforliving.org. It is new and growing and we offer useful support and information for everybody in the Autism community as well as all who come across Autism in their lives.

Take a look - we hope you will be pleasantly impressed. We always welcome input which will help our audience, from articles to interviews to videos to blog posts to tweets. You can find us here.

This is not just a paper endorsement. The reason that these organisations support the Autism Alert Card is that they want to understand and meet the needs of the Autistic Community better than they have done so in the past.

Just as importantly, other organisations and agencies are working hard to understand how to ease interactions with Autistic individuals and how to support the Autism Community in the everyday tasks that most people take for granted.

  • General Support

We also give support and share our experience with all in the Autism community on the kind of matters that effect us all. Contact us about your Autism concerns.

So who can use the Devon Autism Alert Card and who benefits from it?