The concept of ‘picturizing’ is more known in countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom than in Catalonia. It means simplifying by means of pictograms some information that for people with communication and social interaction difficulties, such as those affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is difficult to understand. Platja d’Aro will be the first municipality in Catalonia that has committed itself to picturizing for autism the urban environment of Castell-Platja d’Aro by placing images that can provide information on public services and establishments for people with autism. The initiative is a project by the association Viu l’Autisme and is funded by La Caixa and the Town Council of the municipality, which has undertaken to expand the picturization by presenting the project to private companies that provide services in the area. The Association of Castell-Platja d’Aro’s Business owners have already supported it.
The association Viu l’Autisme explains that many people with ASD are non-verbal, which means that they have not developed an oral language and communicate through alternative communication systems with images. It is for this reason that the pictograms could be of great help in their day-to-day life for routine actions that, in the case of municipal public services in Platja d’Aro, would be in the municipal information point or the sports hall, as well as private services, such as the pharmacy, the supermarket or the hairdresser’s. Viu l’Autisme adds that to make this measure really effective it must be accompanied by a series of tools that, in addition to facilitating access, facilitates communication to people with SAD and enables them to be part of the typical dynamics of the municipality.