Sainsbury’s in Armagh will be holding an Autism Hour in its store tomorrow (Monday).
This will be the first such initiative at the store and will take place between 10am and 11am.
And, depending on how that goes, those supporting the initiative are hopeful that it could become a weekly event.
The time might also be changed for future roll-outs of the Autism Hour depending on what proves to be the most convenient.
It is a brilliant initiative; over 600 stores will be taking part in this hour, which is being led by the National Autistic Society, to provide autistic people with a break from the usual overload of ‘too much information’.
It will see a calmer store environment created, including turning down the tannoy, self check-out sounds and any music.
The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign encourages retailers to create a more autism friendly shopping environment.
Colleagues at the store will take simple steps to be more autism friendly; as well as a calmer shopping environment staff will be provided with more information about autism.
Clare Muscutt, Head of Customer Experience at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re extremely proud to be supporting the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour in over 600 stores, demonstrating our commitment to providing an inclusive environment for our customers.
“It’s an excellent initiative which will not only help increase awareness and understanding of autism amongst our colleagues and customers but also provide an enhanced shopping experience for people with autism in the communities we serve.”
Mark Lever, CEO at the National Autistic Society said: “It is really encouraging to see shops and services such as Sainsbury’s getting involved in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour.
“Our Too Much Information campaign has highlighted that the smallest changes can make the biggest difference for autistic people and we are confident this event will help shops and services understand how we can work towards a more autism friendly world.”
More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum which means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, so the Autism Hour aims to make shopping a more comfortable experience.
To find our more information about attending a National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, please visit: www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/tmi/autism-hour.aspx
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