Set up by the National Autistic Society Autism Hour is an effort to show what an autistic-friendly experience could be. Research by NAS has shown that over 50% of autistic people and families avoid going to the shops as they are worried about how people will react to their autism. Researchers found that 79% of autistic people feel socially isolated.
Making businesses autism-friendly make good business sense – it is estimated that one in 100 people are autistic and many autistic people and their families are likely to seek out autistic-firnedly businesses.
What’s involved in an Autism Hour?
- Turning down music and other noise: overwhelming noise is a common barrier to autistic people accessing shops. Where possible, in-store tannoy announcements and other controllable noise should be reduced.
- Dimming the lights: lighting, particularly fluorescent strip lighting, can be overwhelming for autistic people. Wherever possible, whilst maintaining a safe premises, lights should be dimmed or switched off.
- Sharing information about autism with employees: we don’t expect everyone to be an autism expert but we believe everyone should understand autism. We’ll provide information about autism to help your staff make your customers’ experience a positive one.
- Helping the public understand autism: during the week of 6 October, we’ll be asking participating shops and business to share information about autism with their customers.
To find out which Portsmouth businesses have signed up for the Autism Hour see the interactive map on the NAS website