Prospect Centre has joined the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign. This year, the annual campaign begins on 5 October, and encourages high-street shops and businesses to hold Autism Hours throughout the week.
We hold Autism hour every Sunday 11am -12noon
Prospect Centre will take simple steps to create a more autism-friendly experience by sharing information about autism with staff and customers and changing the shopping environment by turning down music and tannoy announcements, and dimming bright lights.
There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, as well as three million family members and carers. Autistic people often find social and public situations difficult and can struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which can make busy public places, like shops, overwhelming.
Like anyone else, autistic people and their families want to have the option of going to shops, whether to pick up the weekly shopping, buy a coffee or browse with a friend. Yet, National Autistic Society surveys suggest that 64% of autistic people avoid the shops. And, shockingly, 28% of autistic people have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated for their autism.
Tom Purser, Head of Campaigns at the National Autistic Society, said: “Our research found that 64% of autistic people avoid the shops and 28% have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism. This is not good enough.
“Autistic people represent a huge part of our society – around 1 in 100 people in the UK. They and their families want to have the opportunity to go to the shops, just like anyone else. But many find the crowds, noise and unpredictability of our high streets completely overwhelming and end up avoiding them altogether.
“With 38,000 Autism Hours completed over the past two years because of our campaigns, we know shops and businesses want to be involved, they are ready to make the world a more autism friendly place. A big thank you to all the staff in Prospect centre for helping to lead this change by getting involved.
Find out more about the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour and how to get involved by visiting: www.autism.org.uk/AutismHour