Coles has announced it’ll dim the lights and turn down the radio for an hour each week, as part of a new initiative to make a more inclusive experience for shoppers with difficulties processing sensory stimulation.
68 stores across Australia will participate in the Quiet Hour from 10.30am to 11.30am each Tuesday, after a successful trial run in conjunction with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).
In addition, the volume will be turned down on beeping scanners, trolley collections will be paused, PA announcements will be restricted to emergencies, and trained staff will be on deck to help customers.
Those measures were designed to make the frequently hectic supermarket a little easier to navigate. That’s big news for shoppers and shoppers’ children on the autism spectrum, who may find the regular hubbub offputting.
In a statement, Aspect’s Linzi Coyle said the initiative also aims to establish a “‘no-judgement’ shopping space where people on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable and welcome whilst grocery shopping.”
The announcement has been met with a positive response. Shoppers have taken to Facebook to voice their appreciation for the move, with others asking when the initiative will be rolled out at their local store.
Around 1 in every 100 Australians have an autism spectrum disorder, and a significant portion of that community might find shopping a lil’ easier because of this move.
Cop a squiz at the list of participating stores below:
Tea Tree Plaza
Casuarina – Bradshaw St