‘Quiet Hour’ introduced at Coles supermarkets for people on autism spectrum
The ‘Quiet Hour’ campaign was launched at selected Coles supermarkets on Tuesday to make shopping easier for people on the autism spectrum.
For individuals on the spectrum, bright lights and loud noises can be overwhelming.
The initiative was introduced in 68 stores across Australia in response to customer feedback.
Coles ‘Quiet Hour’ participating stores listed below
‘Quiet Hour’ includes the dimming of store lights by more than 50 per cent, a reduction in register noises and the switching off of in-store music.
The campaign, which aims to help those with autism cope with heightened sensory environments, is set to continue every Tuesday between 10.30am to 11.30am.
Trolley collections and in-store announcements will also not take place during ‘Quiet Hour’.
The initiative was successfully trialed In August at Victoria’s Ringwood and Balwyn East stores, leading to the nationwide rollout.
It’s a combined initiative organised by the supermarket giant and Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).
Aspect Community Engagement and Operations Manager, Linzi Coyle, explained the difficulties faced by people with autism.
“People on the autism spectrum often have difficulty processing sensory information and can find sounds, light, smell, touch and taste overwhelming. For many individuals and families, a simple trip to the shops can be difficult,” Ms Coyle told SBS News.
“With autism affecting 1 in 100 Australians, expanding this low-sensory shopping experience to more Coles stores will have a significant improvement on the lives of many children, young people and adults on the spectrum, as well as their family members.
“The modifications to the shopping experience haven’t just been about creating low physical and sensory stimulators. Together with Coles, we’re achieving a ‘no-judgement’ shopping space where people on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable and welcome whilst grocery shopping.”
Coles Accessibility Sponsor Peter Sheean said an additional 66 stores would be selected.
“At Coles, we are always looking at ways we can meet the differing needs of our customers by creating a shopping environment in which our customers and team members feel comfortable,” he said.
“We were really pleased to receive a positive response from our customers and team members, who welcomed Quiet Hour and provided feedback on social media.”
- Warners Bay
- Old Bar
- Banora Point
- Wattle Grove
- Moss Vale
- Kings Langley
- Manly Vale
- Castle Hill
- Brunswick West
- Altona Meadows
- Essendon Fields
- Pakenham Lakeside
- Ferntree Gully
- Brandon Park
- Cranbourne West
- Balwyn East
- Tea Tree Plaza
- Anzac Highway
- Mount Barker
- Port Pirie
- Cairns Central
- Kippa Ring
- Everton Park
- Rockhampton South
- Townsville Annandale
- Mt Gravatt
- Casuarina Bradshaw
- Margaret River
- Southern River
- South Lakes
- Kalgoorlie (Hannans)