More than 600 Sainsbury’s stores took part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour on Monday (October 2) at 10am.
The charity’s campaign encourages retailers to create a more autism-friendly environment, where shops and services take 60 minutes to provide autistic people with a break from the usual overload of ‘too much information’.
Moves made by the supermarket chain included turning down the tannoy and self-checkout sounds and turning off café music – as well as providing staff with information about autism.
Sainsbury’s head of customer experience Clare Muscutt said: “We’re extremely proud to be supporting Autism Hour, 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 staff and customers but also provide an enhanced shopping experience for people with autism in the communities we serve.”
National Autistic Society ceo Mark Lever commented: “It’s really encouraging to see shops and services such as Sainsbury’s getting involved.
“Our ‘Too Much Information’ campaign has highlighted that the smallest changes can make the biggest difference for autistic people and we are confident that this event 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.