Woolworths hushes it for Tuesday sensory sensitive quiet hour



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Chris Chippendale, Life Without Barriers Executive Lead, Disability Engagement with Woolworths team members. Image: Supplied.

With the major objective of reducing anxiety and sensory stress for its customers, Woolworths Mossman will be introducing “Quiet Hour” every Tuesday between 10.30 and 11.30am.

The program is designed to reduce anxiety and sensory stress for customers with specific needs, including autism, by providing a quieter and less stimulating environment in store.

Autism Spectrum Australia estimates more than 300,000 (or 1 in 70) Australians are on the autism spectrum.

During Quiet Hour, Woolworths Mossman will lower lights, turn down music and radio, and turn off oven buzzers for an hour and will join mo¬re than 260 stores nationally, including 57 in Queensland.

“We’ve heard from our customers there is a need in the community for a low sensory shopping experience in the area,” said Woolworths Mossman Store Manager Kiley Brown.

“Off the back of successful trials, we’re delighted to expand Quiet Hour to Woolworths Mossman for the benefit of even more customers.

“Our team takes great pride in ensuring the store is quieter and less stressful for customers who want to shop during Quiet Hour and we look forward to welcoming them in store” she said.

The low sensory initiative was developed in consultation with disability service providers at Life Without Barriers. 

LWB chief executive Claire Robbs said Quiet Hour is a fantastic accessibility initiative by Woolworths that recognises that people have different accessibility needs.

“It gives people a way to do their shopping and increase their independence in an environment that is not stressful and overwhelming to them.”

During Quiet Hour, customers will notice the following changes:

• Reducing volume on store phones and registers on the trading floor;
• Roll cages will be removed from the shop floor; and
• No PA announcements (excluding in case of emergencies).

Find out more about Autism Spectrum Disorder on the Autism Spectrum Australia Website.

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