Asda’s Quiet Hour, introduced to help autistic and other disabled customers has been met with rave reviews. The Asda Living Store in Manchester Fort shopping centre opened a hour early at 8am on Saturday for a ‘Quiet Hour’.
The ‘Quiet Hour’ involved switching off all electronic equipment (including escalators) to create a less intensive environment. Customers were also given maps of the store made from pictures that were more accessible to them.
The ‘Quiet Hour’ was so well received that the Manchester Evening News reported that eight over shops in Manchester Fort are set to follow suit.
For those who don’t know – people with Autism and other learning disabilities often experience issues with noise, crowded places and unfamiliar locations can be hugely distressing for people with these conditions.
For many people and organisations, the impact of living with conditions like Autism can be hard to understand. Just like any other condition. Its all the little things. They add up. Their accumulative impact can often be massive.
It is really great to see big chains like Asda take these steps and lead the way.
Simon Lea, manager of the Asda Living store at Manchester Fort, explained he came up with the idea for ‘Quiet Hour’ to help people who felt intimidated or stressed by noise and disturbance.
He said. “It went really well. The store was silent, and we had great feedback from the families who benefited. Now it will be a regular event for us – every Saturday. We have eight other stores on board now at Manchester Fort who will be doing the same.”
We can hope that we’ll see other chains and stores follow suit with similar initiatives.
Learn more about Autism here: http://www.autism.org.uk/about/what-is/asd.aspx