As part of our post 16 curriculum our students work towards developing their life skills, this can include trips to local shops and supermarkets, these visits can prove difficult for our young people due to the busy, noisy and over stimulating environment.
In October, the ‘National Autistic Society’ ran an ‘Autism Hour’ campaign to encourage shops to participate in a quieter hour in their shops. Many shops took part and some shops adopted this approach on a more regular basis. To find out more about this event, click on the link provided.
Many supermarkets now have a ‘quiet hour’, which they put in place to help people with autism and their families to use their shops, some have been running this for a few years now. During this hour the lights in the shops are dimmed, the music is turned down or off, announcements over the loud speaker are avoided and any other noises are turned down where possible.
Local supermarkets who have a ‘quiet hour’ include Morrison’s every Saturday from 9-10am, some Sainsbury’s stores and some Tesco stores on Saturday 9-10am. Some Asda stores across the country are also trialling an ‘Inclusive Hour’ every Tuesday from 10-11 am.
This is a positive step forward for Autism and disability awareness with many supermarket staff are undergoing training sessions to help them to understand the difficulties that many people face in a busy, supermarket environment.