In August, Coles partnered with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to trial Quiet Hour at two Victorian stores (Ringwood and Balwyn East) to support customers who are, or have family members, on the autism spectrum.
Following the success of the trial, Quiet Hour will now be offered at 68 stores across Australia, every Tuesday between 10:30-11:30am.
Together we can create a world where no-one on the autism spectrum is left behind. Please support Autism Spectrum Australia today.
A new sensory-friendly shopping experience
During Quiet Hour, Coles' stores:
- Reduce Coles Radio to lowest volume
- Dim the lights by 50%
- Turn down register and scanner volumes to lowest level
- Remove roll cages from shop floor
- Avoid trolley collections
- Avoid PA announcements *excluding emergencies
- Offer free fruit at customer service
- Have trained team members available to assist customers
"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-judgement’ shopping space where people on the spectrum and their families can feel comfortable and welcome whilst grocery shopping.” - Linzi Coyle, Aspect Community Engagement and Operations. “We have invested in training for team members to increase their understanding of sensory overload and how to best respond to customer needs"
Quiet Hour is not limited to people on the spectrum and anyone who may benefit from the experience is encouraged to come along.
To prepare for the shopping experience, customers can download the free Coles app, which allows users to create shopping lists and use the product finder function to help locate products in store - download the app here.
How Aspect is creating an autism-friendly Australia...
The Coles Quiet Hour initiative is part of an ongoing program by Aspect and a number of partners to foster an autism-friendly Australia.
Aspect is proudly working with organisations across Australia to help introduce a range of specialist training, support and online resources for the whole community, as well as provide employment opportunities for people on the spectrum:
For more information on creating an autism-friendly Australia, visit: https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/AutismFriendlyAustralia
Our work with Surf Life Saving Clubs
After a successful pilot program in Northern NSW, we are working with 14 Surf Life Saving clubs across NSW and QLD, to help them create an inclusive Nippers program and beach environment.