For a full hour in October, stores and shopping centers across the United Kingdom will be giving autistic customers a break by hosting a “quiet hour”.
All of the stores in the UK’s 14 Intu shopping centers, Toys R Us outlets, and other retailers will be dimming their lights, quieting their music, and reducing the amount of commotion in their stores for sixty minutes on October 2nd.
The initiative is part of a National Autistic Society campaign to raise awareness for the information overload that autistic children experience. According to the organization, over 700,000 UK residents experience autism, and a large majority of these people avoid shopping all together because of the overwhelming environment.
Hopefully, thanks to the National Autistic Society’s partnership with Intu, the quiet hour will become a regular occurrence that can give autistic shoppers a break from the hustle and bustle of stressful shopping.
“We are asking every shop, restaurant and leisure brand in our centers to dim their lights and reduce their music for an hour and to raise awareness of autism among their staff and customers,” said Intu’s corporate responsibility director Alexander Nicoll.
“We hope that launching the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour in our centers will encourage many more organizations across the country to take these simple steps that will make life easier for the millions of people impacted by autism.
“We want to put a smile on the face of everyone who visits an Intu centre and this means training our staff, supporting our customers and working with brands in our centers as well as organizations like the National Autistic Society to provide a welcoming and accessible experience for all.”