A supermarket is introducing a “quiet hour” to help autistic and disabled shoppers.
The Asda Living store in Manchester is pioneering a special disability-friendly hour for local people who feel intimidated or stressed by noise and disturbance.
Well done @asda for their quiet hour.
— Slow Shopping (@slowshoppinguk) April 25, 2016
The store will open an hour early without many electronic distractions, including escalators, music and display TVs, and the tannoy will not be used for announcements.
The idea came from manager Simon Lea, who wanted to help after seeing a boy with autism struggling to cope in the shop.
He hopes the move will ensure there are no distractions for people with autism, who are sometimes troubled by loud noises.
— Lammi (@Lamm1) April 25, 2016
Mr Lea said: “Following the incident, I’ve been speaking with colleagues and customers about how we can help shoppers with autism or disabilities. I suffered for many years with anxiety and I used to absolutely hate going into busy stores.”
He added: “If we can make a few small changes to give these customers a better shopping experience and make them comfortable then I know the store will be a better place to shop for everyone.”
Following the amazing response from my last post, the media are coming to Asda Living Cheetham Hill on Thursday 28th…
@asda that employee of yours simon lea sounds amazing doing a quiet hour for autistic and disabled people etc fair play for supporting him
— connor smyth (@connorsmyth56) April 23, 2016
Local autism groups and families can try out the quiet time on Saturday May 7 at 8am, when store staff will be on hand to greet customers.
Mr Lea said: “Last week, I posted on Facebook about the idea of a ‘quiet hour’ and the reaction was absolutely fantastic, people from across the country were responding, saying what a great idea this was.”
@asda PLEASE trial a "quiet hour" across all stores. I have twins, one autistic, it would make mine and other shoppers lives less stressful!
— Kelly Richardson (@kelsywels) April 25, 2016