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‘Sensory friendly’ Gib Fair makes big difference to local families

An initiative to make the Gibraltar Fair more inclusive and sensory friendly for persons with autism, photosensitive epilepsy, visual impairments and hearing impairments, has been warmly received by the public.

In all the Ministry of Equality issued 30 Easy Access Passes for the first time for this year in the name of the Blue Badge Holder or the persons with the disability.

The Government has worked with Gibraltar Cultural Services Agency and SDGG allowing for sensory adaptations in the first 90 minutes of the fair at 7pm during which lights are switched off and sound is minimized.

The changes which have been in place throughout the week have worked well and have been welcomed by those issued with passes and also those who felt they did not need to apply but have found their families too have greatly benefitted from the initiative.

Krystle Mañasco believes any changes which allow inclusion for those on the autism spectrum or with sensory difficulties is always welcome and allows those individuals to enjoy activities that they might not have been able to on previous occasions.

As a family, together with her husband Kevin and sons Kaylan and Liam, she tells of how for the first time ever they have been able to have a far more enjoyable experience at the fair.

Her husband Kevin points out that they have never really enjoyed the fair as a family in the past because they have always had to leave or stay behind with one of the boys.

“It has improved our fair experience massively. Although we have attended the fair every year, on occasions it was overwhelming after a while for my son Kaylan who is autistic. It is great for him to enjoy the fair without the added distraction of the lights and blaring music,” explains Mrs Mañasco whose other son Liam suffers from ADHD.


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