Morrisons trials new scheme to help customers with autism spectrum disorders

Picture by PA
Picture by PA

A supermarket is trialling a new scheme to help making shopping easier for customers with autism.

People with autism spectrum disorders can easily become overwhelmed by bright lights and loud noises, and the initiative intends to make shopping a more comfortable experience.

Every Saturday between 9 and 10am, all sound will be turned off at Morrison's in a pilot scheme at one of its stores, which could be rolled out across the country if it proves successful.

Music and hand dryers will be turned off, stock cages won't be used and there won't be any public address system announcements.

Overhead lights will also be dimmed, to help relax shoppers.

The scheme, which follows a survey by the National Autism Society, will run store in a Morrisons store in Lincoln until the end of June.

Lincoln store manager Thomas Lax said: "We want to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers.

"I am delighted that Lincoln store is trialling this initiative designed to make the shopping trip easier for people with autism."

Daniel Cadey, autism access development manager at the National Autistic Society said: "For many autistic people and their families, a simple trip to the shops, which should be an enjoyable experience, can be fraught with difficulty.

"Simple changes like this can make a huge difference to the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and to their families. We hope that many more major retailers will follow the great example set by Morrisons."