Making the UK more autism friendly with Autism Hour

Autism Hour

Back in July, Morrisons Supermarket launched a ‘quiet hour’ for autistic shoppers who struggle with music and noise, joining The Entertainer toy shop that also holds “quiet hours” during the first hour of opening every Saturday.

As technology progresses, we are all hit by sights and sounds around every corner and for autistic people, the world can seem full of too much information for them to process.

In a bid to make the UK more autism friendly, The National Autistic Society are launching Autism Hour between 6-13th October 2018, an initiative which promotes autism friendly shopping experiences across the UK.

This year over 10,000 shops, businesses and shopping centres have signed up to the program, taking simple steps to make their businesses more accessible to autistic people for one hour during the week, such as turning down music and other noise, dimming fluorescent strip lighting and sharing information about autism with employees. Click here to see the interactive map of shops that will be taking part near you!

Autism Hour

Major high street names have signed up, including The Entertainer, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, Co-op and Schuh.

Did you know?

There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, as well as three million family members and carers. ​Being autistic means seeing, hearing and feeling the world in a different, often more intense way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and can struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which can make busy public places, like shops, overwhelming.

The National Autistic Society hopes that the initiative has a lasting impact beyond the week of activity, and that many businesses will follow The Entertainer’s example and introduce permanent changes like their weekly Quiet Hour, or work towards the Autism Friendly Award. This is an opportunity for shops to make a big difference to the lives of autistic people through simple changes as 64% of autistic people say they avoid the shops and 28% have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism.

There are a few ways for you to get involved with and support Autism Hour – find out how to volunteer here.

20 thoughts on “Making the UK more autism friendly with Autism Hour

  1. Great initiative, and I was pleased to see that Home Bargains are also taking part. I think it would be great for more independent shops to take part too!

  2. What a fantastic idea to support people who are unable to cope with noise and rukkus!

  3. I take my hat off for Morrisons participating in this, Autism is such a hard thing & anything to make things that bit easier really helps.
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  4. Love this post. I know so many families that have children who are autistic and this will benefit them greatly. Thanks for sharing
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  5. Erin Ek Rush says:

    I think this is such a fantastic idea.. I really hope more place follow suit!

  6. Kirsty says:

    My niece hs Autism and very day life is very challenging especially in highly populists and noisy places so the fact supermarkets are offering quieter times for shopping is very helpful and I know how much more easier it would make doing the food shop

  7. Kirsty says:

    My niece hs Autism and very day life is very challenging especially in highly populists and noisy places so the fact supermarkets are offering quieter times for shopping is very helpful and I know how much more easier it would make.

  8. TheDenaEdit says:

    This post is really good and it’s good to spread awareness about autism, I never realised how many people were affected.

  9. Jenni says:

    It is so good that many places are now starting to do this from leisure centres to supermarkets. I support adults with autism and have supported children with autism in the past and this is such a big thing for being more independent

  10. This is such a brilliant idea, I know little about autism but awareness needs raising for sure. Kaz

  11. Rachel says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea! Making it easier for parents to do an everyday task like shopping or for older people with autism too.

  12. Anne Fraser says:

    This is great. I have an autistic son and last year at the age of nearly 40 he was able to enjoy a fireworks display for the first time. All it took was an autistic friendly display without bangers and a relaxion tent with a quiet corner he could relax in when it got too much. Sometimes all it takes to help are a few small changes. You have written a great post.

  13. This is a fantastic idea. It’ll be excellent for those with autism, but to be honest, I quite like the sound of it for myself. There’s too much noise …

  14. Laura Dove says:

    This is great that there are more autism friendly places, I think it’s a positive move for many!

  15. I used to work with adults with autism so this is very welcome, as some places could be very overwhelming for them. My little girl is being tested for it so we normally go to autism-friendly cinema screenings with her x

  16. What an excellent idea. There is so much noise out there I find so I can see how this would benefit people with autism.
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  17. This is such an empowering post. It is a great thing you are doing raising the awareness! The world is changing thanks to people like you, amazing.

  18. It’s great they are doing events to help make the UK more autism friendly. I know a mum with two autistic children and anything that makes her life easier is great. I shall pass this on x

  19. This is such a good idea and a way of making so many more places autism friendly, which is very important!

  20. I didn’t realize how many people are affected by autism. I don’t know of any events like this in the US, that’s pretty awesome that so many stores signed up for the event!

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