This October, thousands of shops will team up with the National Autistic Society to hold Autism Hours.
Participating businesses will take simple steps to create a more autism-friendly experience, turning down music, dimming bright lights, and sharing information about autism with staff and customers. Over 5,000 shops and businesses took part last year, and the National Autistic Society wants even more to get involved in 2018.
Following the successful implementation of its own Quiet Hour initiative earlier this year, The Entertainer has pledged to support the campaign.
Mark Lever, chief executive at the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many well-known high street retailers already signed up. Thank you to The Entertainer for becoming our sponsor for Autism Hour 2018. With Autism Hour, we want to show retailers the small things they can do to help open up the high street for autistic people. It’s often the smallest change that makes the biggest difference.”
Having taken part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour in 2017, The Entertainer trialled its own Quiet Hour throughout February half term in 2018, when the music in all of its 145 stores was turned off for the first hour of opening. The initiative was well received by customers and as a result, a Quiet Hour now takes place every Saturday morning in all stores.
Gary Grant, founder and chairman of The Entertainer, commented: “We are delighted to sponsor the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour. We always strive to make our stores a happy place for people to visit and so it is imperative that we adapt our in-store environment to create a more comfortable space for autistic people. The Entertainer is somewhere for children to explore their imagination and become inspired by all of the toys available and so we hope by supporting Autism Hour, in addition to running our own Quiet Hour initiative, more families will feel confident when it comes to shopping with us.”
Find out how to get involved by visiting: www.autism.org.uk/AutismHour.