Last Updated: 17 October 2019
Created: 17 October 2019
North Swindon MP and Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson has praised a new initiative to improve the shopping experience for people with autism.
The Entertainer toy retailer holds an autism hour every Saturday between 9-10am in all its stores across the country to help create a calm environment for children who can find crowds and loud noises distressing.
Justin visited the Swindon branch of The Entertainer to see for himself, and to see how the store creates a calming atmosphere by dimming the lights and turning off the in-store music. Staff also have special training to help them understand how best to support customers with autism.
As well as improving the shopping experience for children with autism, the quiet hour also raises awareness of the challenges faced by people with autism and encourages people to be more mindful while shopping.
Following his visit to The Entertainer, Justin also met with Tim Nichols from the National Autistic Society. During the meeting they discussed The National Autistic Society’s ‘The Autism Act, 10 Years On’ report, focusing on the Government’s work to help increase employment opportunities for those with Autism.
Justin Tomlinson MP said “I am proud to be working with key organisations such as the National Autistic Society to help increase opportunities for those with autism within the workplace. Through extending our Disability Confident Scheme, Access to Work and opening up apprenticeships we are seeing a significant increase in those with disabilities in the workplace. In fact, we have seen over a million more disabled people find employment in the last 6 years alone. We must continue to share best practice with businesses of all sizes, so they can benefit from the huge, diverse pool of talent who are keen to have the opportunity to work.”