Thousands of retailers will begin their 'Autism Hour' from tomorrow, Saturday 6th October until Saturday 13th October 2018. This is a fantastic initiative from The Autistic Society which encourages shops to take simple steps to be more autism friendly.
These simple changes can have such a huge impact on families who have a child with autism as it can create an environment that someone with autism can feel safe and understood in.
So what changes will be made during Autism Hour?
- Turning down music and other noise: overwhelming noise is a common barrier to autistic people accessing shops. Where possible, in-store tannoy announcements and other controllable noise should be reduced
- Dimming the lights: lighting, particularly fluorescent strip lighting, can be overwhelming for autistic people. Wherever possible, whilst maintaining a safe premises, lights should be dimmed or switched off
- Sharing information about autism with employees: we don't expect everyone to be an autism expert but we believe everyone should understand autism. We'll provide information about autism to help your staff make your customers' experience a positive one
By making these small changes it can make the first step to helping people to understand autism.
Which shops will be taking part in Autism Hour?
There are over 8000 shops and small businesses that have signed up to Autism Hour in the week of the 6th-13th October 2018. They include Sainsbury's, The Entertainer, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Pets At Home, Argos, Co-Op and many more.
You can search for stores that are local to you here*.
I think this a fantastic idea and as I have a child who can struggle with sensory issues I will definitely be taking part in Autism Hour. I hope it goes some way to helping people understand and accomodate people with autism.