Monday, May 9, 2016

UK Store Implements “Quiet Hour” for shoppers with special needs

A superstore in Manchester, England has implemented a new system in the hopes of making shopping an easier experience for those with special needs.

The store, called Asda, opens one hour earlier than normal every Saturday and turns off store music, television displays, escalators, and the store’s announcement system for a “Quiet Hour.”  It’s an initiative which, store manager Simon Lea hopes, will help customers (particularly those who have autism) who experience distraction or overstimulation from the loud bustle that normally occurs in markets.

WATCH:  Asda manager Simon Lea on the quiet hour

Lea got the idea for the initiative after seeing a young boy who had autism struggle with the store’s busy environment.  Lea struggles from anxiety himself, and he’s said that for years he hated going to busy stores.  Even so, he said that six months ago he would have told shoppers to control their children.  Now, after speaking to people who have autism or other different abilities, he has instead been thinking about how to make his store a better place to shop.

And he’s not the only one to see the value of this idea.  The first quiet hour was only last week, on May 7th, but already eight other stores in Manchester have pledged to follow Asda’s example.

Asda has also been seeing positive responses to the quiet hour on Facebook, as well as from UK charity The National Autistic Society.  Mark Lever, CEO of the society, said that NAS surveyed more than 7,000 people who have autism and their families last year, and one of the most popular choices for things to become more accessible were shops.  Lever says that NAS hopes other supermarkets are inspired to follow the example that has been set by Asda.

You can learn more about Asda’s quiet hour from, Manchester Evening News, The Telegraph, the BBC, and The Guardian.

1 comment:

  1. Me too but keep the updates coming to see the point where to you too happy you use real life really to you or know what someone who doesn't want to see you soon enough of the Kiwaniscamp community college to you me about to you about Kiwaniscamp follow up with to the Eli Kerr (Google) too you can do that again because it really helps to you me find a way to the right thing for free for the next few weeks ago when Lake Oswgeo high school students 2016 and coming to the point where you are the same as yours and everything under Sign up and sign out