U.K. Stores to Hold Nationwide Quiet Hour for Those on the Autism Spectrum

On Monday, October 2, shops across the U.K. will observe a nationwide quiet hour as part of an autism awareness initiative benefitting shoppers on the autism spectrum.

In partnership with The National Autistic Society (NAS), on that day all 14 of intu Shopping Centres will reduce their lights, music and background noise starting at 10 a.m. Also participating are Clarks and Toys ‘R’ Us stores throughout the country, both of which, have previously hosted quiet hours for shoppers on the spectrum.

While the event starts on October 2, stores throughout the U.K. are encouraged to participate at any point during the week.

According to research from The National Autistic Society, 64 percent of autistic people avoid going shopping, and 28 percent have been asked to leave a public place for reasons related to their autism.

“Like anyone, autistic people and their families want the opportunity to go to the shops and services on the high street. But our research suggests that many find the often busy, loud and unpredictable environment of public places overwhelming and avoid them altogether,” said Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society, adding:

“We hope that the hour will provide a break for families in the week and in the long term will help spread understanding so that shops and services are more accessible every day of the year.”

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