Making Grocery Shopping More Tolerable for Individuals with Autism

Morrison\’s in the United Kingdom is leading the way for making grocery shopping a little less overwhelming for individuals with autism. This story is a great example of community inclusion because it demonstrates a business who is thinking about the needs of consumers in its community.

As the story goes, Morrison\’s will dedicate an hour every Saturday (from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.) to dim the lights, turn off music and announcements and turn down checkout beeps and other electronic noises. This can significantly reduce the stress associated with shopping for individuals with autism. The grocery store chain will also invest time to train staff on how to interact with individuals with autism so they can assist customers to the best of their abilities. The initiative is in collaboration with the U.K.\’s National Autistic Society.

The article mentions that some similar programs have been introduced in Canada as well. Autism Speaks Canada partnered with Cineplex to provide regular sensory-friendly movie screening for families. Toys R Us has also held a handful of sensory-friendly shopping hours and plan to hold more in the future.

All of these steps is a real advancement in creating more inclusive communities. We invite you to read more about Morrison\’s and what they have done in the U.K. The more that industry assists in building inclusive communities, the better we will all be in creating a society where we can all live as one.