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Coles Announces New Autism-Friendly “Quiet Hour” Initiative Across Australia

Coles Announces New Autism-Friendly “Quiet Hour” Initiative Across Australia

Coles have announced that they will roll out an autism-friendly shopping experience at nearly 70 stores across the country from today, following a successful trial earlier this year.

Sixty-eight stores across Australia will participate in the Quiet Hour from 10.30am to 11.30am each Tuesday, after a successful trial run in conjunction with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).

The lights will be dimmed to 50% lumination, the in-store radio will be switched off, the volume of beeping scanners will be turned down, trolley collections will be paused, PA announcements will be restricted to emergencies only, and trained staff will be on deck to help customers. Roll cages and shelf stocking equipment will also be removed from the shop floor and free fruit will be offered to customers.

Intended to make the shopping experience a bit easier for their customers with sensory issues, this initiative is very welcome news to many families across Australia.

“People on the autism spectrum often have difficulty processing sensory information and can find sounds, light, smell, touch and taste overwhelming,” Linzi Coyle, community engagement and operations manager at Autism Spectrum Australia, said in a statement.

“For many individuals and families, a simple trip to the shops can be difficult. The trial held at Coles in Ringwood and Balwyn East was a wonderful success and we received a lot of positive feedback from community members about their experience.

“With autism affecting one in 100 Australians, expanding this low-sensory shopping experience to more Coles stores will have a significant improvement on the lives of many children, young people and adults on the spectrum, as well as their family members.

“The modifications to the shopping experience haven’t just been about creating low physical and sensory stimulators. Together with Coles, we’re achieving a ‘no-judgment’ shopping space where people on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable and welcome whilst grocery shopping.

“We encourage anyone who may benefit from the experience to visit a participating Coles store and try sensory-friendly shopping.”

Shoppers have taken to Facebook to praise the national supermarket chain for their inclusive initiative, but are expressing their hopes that the Quiet Hour is rolled out across every store Australia-wide. We have to agree — this would be amazing for all families with children with special needs.

Check out which stores in your region are participating in the Quiet Hour here:

• NEW SOUTH WALES •
Banora Point
Bega
Brighton-Le-Sands
Caringbah
Castle Hill
Epping
Goulburn
Inverell
Kings Langley
Lisarow
Manly Vale
Medowie
Moss Vale
Old Bar
Pyrmont
Ulladulla
Wadalba
Warners Bay
Wattle Grove
Wellington

• QUEENSLAND •
Cairns Central
Caloundra
Cleveland
Everton Park
Helensvale
Kippa Ring
Marsden
Maryborough
Mt Gravatt
Mudgeeraba
Newfarm
Rockhampton South
Toowoomba
Townsville Annandale

• SOUTH AUSTRALIA •
Anzac Highway
Mount Barker
Park Holme
Port Pirie
Tea Tree Plaza

• NORTHERN TERRITORY •
Casuarina — Bradshaw St

• VICTORIA •
Altona Meadows
Balwyn East
Belmont
Benalla
Brandon Park
Brighton
Brunswick West
Burnside
Cranbourne West
Eltham
Essendon Fields
Ferntree Gully
Fitzroy
Langwarrin
Newtown
Pakenham Lakeside
Prahran
Ringwood
Wendouree

• WESTERN AUSTRALIA •
Erskine
Floreat
Hillarys
Kalgoorlie
Margaret River
Mundaring
South Lakes
Southern River

 

Jill Slater

Jill Slater

Jill is a busy wife and mother of four young children. She loves nothing more than making people giggle, and loves to settle in with a glass of wine (or four) and wander about the internet. Feel free to follow her to see all the cool stuff she finds!

2 comments

  1. It would be great if they could include those with Epilepsy too. Some are badly affected by strong lighting and loud noise. Perhaps they could combine them as an experiment. I hope signs are prominently displayed for a couple of weeks in advance so that other people know they will not be able to shop there at those times. What proof is required to show that they have Autism as most you cannot detect from appearance. Not all have speech difficulties. The same issues occur with many with Epilepsy.

  2. I would love to see it roll out in the Forster Coles Store I know it would benefit a lot of families including mine.

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