Following on from the hugely successful launch in 2017, all of our retailers at intu Broadmarsh will once again support the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour on Sunday 7 October 11am – 12pm.
intu Broadmarsh is one of 14 intu shopping centres up and down the country working with the charity to provide autistic people with a break from the usual overload of ‘too much information’.
Every retailer is being asked to observe a ‘quiet hour’ by dimming their lights, turning down music and other background noise for an hour at 11am on Sunday 7 October.
Staff at intu Broadmarsh already receive training to provide autism-aware customer service and have autism champions who are able to provide the best possible service to our shoppers.
General Manager, Nigel Wheatley at intu Broadmarsh said: “We will be asking every shop and eatery in our centre to dim their lights and reduce their music for an hour on Sunday to raise awareness of autism among their staff and customers. We hope that by supporting the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour at intu Broadmarsh we will be able to encourage many more businesses to take these simple steps and make life easier for the estimated 700,000 autistic people in the UK and their families.
“We want to put a smile on the face of everyone who visits an intu centre and this means training our staff, supporting our customers and working with brands in the centre as well as organisations like the National Autistic Society to provide a welcoming and accessible experience for all.”
A survey by The National Autistic Society suggests that 64% of autistic people avoid going to the shops, and 28% have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism. The charity is asking shops and services to take simple steps for one hour to help create a more autism friendly world - from dimming the lights and turning down music to sharing information about autism with employees.
More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum which means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience which means they feel overwhelmed by ‘too much information’ when out in public.
Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many well-known high street retailers have already signed up – and ready to make the world a more autism friendly place.
“The National Autistic Society want a world which works for autistic people. With Autism Hour, we want to show retailers the small things they can do to help open up the high street for autistic people. Things like staff finding out a bit more about autism and making simple adjustments such as turning down music or dimming the lights. It’s often the smallest change that makes the biggest difference.”
To find our more information about the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, please visit: www.autism.org.uk/autismhour