Asda Have Just Done Something Incredible For Autistic And Disabled Shoppers

By : Alex Mays |


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An Asda superstore manager has thought of a very clever way to help out its autistic and disabled shoppers.

Simon Lea, the manager of the Cheetham Hill branch, in Manchester, will be introducing a ‘quiet hour’.

This means they will stop its escalators and turn off all in-store music and displays TV’s to make it a more comfortable environment for people with autism, Manchester Evening News reports.

All disabled and autistic customers will also be given a map of the store – which includes more pictures than words – to make it easier to move around the shop.

Simon is hoping that these changes will mean ‘you’ll be able to hear a pin drop’, when the first quiet hour begins at 8am on May 7th.

Speaking to the M.E.N, Simon explained why he decided to introduce this new measure: 

This boy was playing absolute blue murder, kicking and screaming. His mum just looked drained. She told me he suffers from autism. He was having a meltdown.

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So, to calm him down, Simon gave the boy a 50p voucher and a £1 football.

He continued: 

This lad looked at me and he started playing with the football. His mum was the happiest I have ever seen anyone and just for giving him a football.

After consulting with colleagues and disabled customers, Simon decided to implement this ‘quiet hour’ and it seems this incident has also changed his perspective on life.

He added:

It’s all about helping people really. Six months ago I would have said ‘control your child’ even though I’ve got children. But speaking to people with autism and disabled people has helped me think about how I can make it a better place to shop. I suffered for many years with anxiety. I used to absolutely hate going into busy stores. There are a lot of people out there who have mental health issues. There are many people who don’t talk about it. We have a lot of disabled customers and we want to make the shop better for them.

And the response to this move has been overwhelming:

An absolutely amazing idea, fair play to him!


Manchester Evening News