Asda has introduced a ‘quiet hour’ to help people with disabilities shop at their stores.
The so-called ‘quiet hour’ aims to provide a slot where there will be less noise and lights will also be dimmed in order to help the shoppers feel more comfortable.
Shopping, for people with hidden disabilities, can sometimes be difficult. By definition, hidden disabilities are not always obvious to fellow shoppers who do not experience the same and means that it can put certain people off or cause stress.
There are an estimated 14.1 million people in the UK who have some form of disability according to equality campaigners Scope.
Scope also believe that 8% of UK children, 19% of working age adults and 46% of pension age adults are disabled.
80% of disabilities are known to be hidden.
Other chains, such as Tesco, have already introduced the measures for between 9am and 10 every Wednesday and Saturday.
When is Asda’s quiet hour?
The initiative takes place from 2pm to 3pm every day from Monday to Thursday.
Asda’s chief supply chain officer and executive sponsor for disability Mark Simpson said: “There are an estimated 14.1 million people with a disability living in the UK, and 80 per cent of disabilities are hidden.
“So we hope that by introducing quieter times for customers to shop we will be able to make our stores more welcoming and inclusive for customers with additional needs.”
Why can supermarkets be difficult for people with disabilities?
Supermarkets can be stressful experiences for people with disabilities, hidden or not.
For conditions like autism, anything from loud noises or unintentionally pushy behaviour from other members of the public can be difficult to deal with.
Particularly busy periods also make it tricky for those in a wheelchair or who require a stick to help them get around.
Meanwhile, certain disabilities mean that the weekly shop is vitally important to keeping costs down, as Scope estimates that there are significant extra expenses for people and families with disabilities.
“Life costs you £583 more on average a month if you’re disabled,” they said.
“Families of disabled children on average, face extra costs of £581 a month. For almost a quarter (24%) of families with disabled children, extra costs amount to over £1,000 a month.”