Asda store launches 'quiet hour' to make shopping easier for autistic people
25 April 2016
An Asda store in Manchester is introducing a 'quiet hour' to make shopping easier for autistic people and other disabled people.
The store will be silent for sixty minutes every Saturday. In-store music, televisions and announcements will be turned down, and escalators will be stopped.
The store manager, Simon Lea, decided to introduce the quiet hour after seeing a boy in the shop who was struggling to manage. As he told the Manchester Evening News, after speaking to the boy's mother he learned the boy had autism.
He spoke to one of his staff, who also has an autistic child, and worked out a plan to make the environment easier.
The quiet hour is not just for autistic people, but for anyone who wants to shop in quieter surroundings, for any reason.
'I suffered for many years with anxiety. I used to absolutely hate going into busy stores. There are a lot of people out there who have mental health issues. There are many people who don’t talk about it.'
The first quiet hour will be at 8am on Saturday 7 May at the Asda Living store in Cheetham Hill, Manchester.