intu Potteries has launched a pioneering scheme aimed at supporting individuals with autism.
An autism-friendly guide to the centre has been designed and published along with alert card for visitors. In addition, staff including customer service, security, cleaners, car park and duty managers are being trained in helping autistic visitors when they are shopping in the centre.
The guides are designed to cater for individuals of all ages and abilities. They will support visitors through all stages of their visit, starting with planning their visit to the centre through to what they will see, what they can do when they are in the centre, to advice in an emergency.
Specially designed alert cards have also been developed for individuals with autism and for their parents and carers. Visitors can use them at their discretion to communicate with intu staff or the public that they have autism.
North Staffordshire Aspergers and Autism Association will be in the centre, by the customer services desk, this Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July with information on the charity.
Paul Francis, general manager at intu Potteries, said: “We’re committed to providing a premium shopping experience for all our customers and this latest service ensures we can do just that. We plan to roll out autism awareness training to all intu Potteries staff to better support those with autism spectrum conditions during their visit, while bringing together our employees with customers and their families.”
The guide and alert card can be downloaded here, can be collected from the Customer services desk or you can email email@example.com for a pack to be posted to you.
Autism is a lifelong development disability that affects how someone communicates and relates to other people. It may also affect how they perceive the world around them. This includes over or under sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colour. 1 in 100 people have autism. 700,000 people in the UK and 2.8m families are affected.
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