Shopping made easier for people with autism – Coles introduces ‘Quiet Hour’

To assist shoppers who find the heightened sensory environment of a supermarket to be challenging, a low-sensory shopping experience – called ‘Quiet Hour’ – which has been designed to be easy on the eyes and ears, will be offered in 68 Coles Supermarkets across Australia from Tuesday 21 November 2017, between 10.30am and 11.30am.

People on the autism spectrum often have difficulty processing sensory information and can find sounds, light, smell, touch and taste overwhelming making a simple trip to the shops can be difficult for many individuals and families.

For an hour each week during Quiet Hour – Coles will:

  • dim store lighting by 50%
  • switch the store radio off
  • reduce volumes of all registers and scanners to the lowest level
  • have no trolley collections and roll cages being removed from the shop floor
  • PA announcements will only be made in emergencies
  • have additional staff available to support customers