Following the success of an initial trial with 70 stores, Coles will be expanding its autism spectrum–friendly ‘Quiet Hour‘ to another 103 stores.
Created in conjunction with Autism Spectrum Australia, the Quiet Hour sees participating stores set aside an hour every Tuesday to make the store a less overwhelming environment. From 10:30 to 11:30, the lights are dimmed, the store radio is turned down, the volume on the scanners is turned down, trolley collection is paused, PA announcements are kept to a minimum, and trained staff are put on the registers to help out. According to Coles, free fruit will also be offered at the checkouts.
Coles has said that their aim is to create a “‘no-judgement’ shopping space where people on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable and welcome while they complete their daily shop“.
The 173 participating stores are distributed across the entire country, to see if any of them happen to be in your area, you can see the full list right here.