• The Promenades shopping centre will be holding the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour on Monday 8th October at 10am
• Currently, 64% of autistic people avoid going to the shops because of their autism
• The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign is asking shops and businesses to take simple steps that will lead to a more autism friendly world
The Promenades, the local community shopping centre has teamed up with leading autism charity, the National Autistic Society, to hold an Autism Hour on the 8th October 2018.
Autism Hour was launched last year as the first mass-participation event to encourage shops to be more autism friendly and more than 5,000 shops and businesses took part. This year the National Autistic Society are thrilled that we have over 7,000 shops already signed up. Many celebrities are backing the campaign including Chris Packham, Anne Hegerty and Christine McGuinness.
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.
Carl Brown, Centre Manager at the Promenades, said: “The Autism Hour is a fantastic initiative and we’re delighted to help support this in our local community.
“We want to make everyone aware of this initiative and give autistic people the opportunity to visit the centre at a time which will make them feel comfortable when shopping at the Promenades and show the rest of the community how, what we may perceive as minor things can impact someone’s shopping experience in a huge way.”
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.
“Autistic people represent a huge part of our society and it is a disgrace that 64% of autistic people avoid the shops. And, shockingly, 28% of autistic people have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated for their autism. They and their families want and deserve to have the opportunity to go to the shops, just like anyone else.
“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.
“Over 5,000 stores have already signed up, and you can find out more or where your nearest participating store is at autism.org.uk/autismhour”
To find our more information about attending a National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour, please visit: autism.org.uk/autismhour