// Asda introduces a ‘quieter hour’ where noise levels will be to help those with hidden disabilities
// The supermarket will also be sponsoring the annual learning subscription service Purple Tuesday 365
Asda has announced it will be introducing a ‘quieter hour’ where noise levels will be reduced to help shoppers with hidden disabilities such as autism.
The quieter hour will take place from 2pm to 3pm on Mondays to Thursdays, with the aim of making stores more accessible to customers with hidden disabilities and additional needs.
The initiative is launching tomorrow to coincide with ‘Purple Tuesday’, a campaign that highlights challenges that disabled people can face and calls for action to improve customer service.
The supermarket chain will also be sponsoring Purple Tuesday 365, an annual learning subscription service that helps organisations and their staff access knowledge and practical approaches for providing better experiences for disabled people.
The sponsorship provides Asda staff with access to a monthly webinar on disability-related topics.
The retailer also announced today that is had carried out extra training of 85,000 staff with the aim of better serving disabled people through the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme.
The sunflower scheme provides a symbol people can wear to indicate they have a hidden disability.
Asda revealed it is also in the process of updating its online store locator to improve accessibility information on toilets, changing places, braille and hearing loops.
“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,” Asda chief supply chain officer and exec sponsor for disability Mark Simpson told The Grocer.
Purple chief executive Mike Adams said that to change the disability conversation, organisations need to take all their colleagues on the journey, through knowledge, understanding, new approaches and confidence.
Adams said that Asda is doing exactly that and is the ideal partner to take everyone else with us.
Asda will be marking Purple Tuesday by turning its logo and social media icons purple.