Casey/Nally’s SuperValu Kilcock will host an Autism Awareness workshop in conjunction with AsIAm on Tuesday 2ndOctober in the boardroom of the Kilcock store at 7pm.
To support SuperValu’s continued journey in supporting the autism community, Adam Harris from AsIAM has designed a 90 minute workshop and education evening alongside SuperValu to enable businesses, community groups and organisations better understand autism and understand how they can actively support and include members of the autism community.
As the leading retailer actively supporting the autism community in Ireland, SuperValu is committed to raising understanding and awareness of autism among its customers and staff. With over 50,000 families in Ireland living with autism, those affected face barriers to inclusion because of the attitudes of people who may not have first-hand experience of autism.
SuperValu is hoping to break down those barriers and bring about a change by informing their customers and staff of the need to USE PLAIN LANGUAGE, BE PATIENT and BE ACCEPTING. These three simple steps can make a massive difference to an autistic person’s in-store experience.
Adam Harris from AsIAm said, “SuperValu is playing a vital role in mainstreaming understanding of autism in store and in the wider community by speaking directly to their customer base, their staff and now their peer business organisations. The supermarket is a big trigger zone for the autism community and while SuperValu is already making sensory changes in there we realised how important it is to educate the wider community on how they can play their part in making Autistic people feel included. These evenings will facilitate a greater learning on the benefits to a business in being Autism Aware and the simple steps needed to get there.’
SuperValu is already leading the charge when it comes to initiatives that support families with Autism through their Autism friendly shopping evenings happening in stores around the country. SuperValu has enhanced the shopping experience through a roadmap for change which is currently being rolled out in stores around the country. This will be rolled out across the next 12 months.
Heralded as ‘world-class’, the initiatives already in place in store have been designed in conjunction with the Middletown Centre for Autism and include;
- Autism Friendly shopping times – a commitment to rolling sensory friendly times in more stores across the next year.
- Development of Store Maps- to pre-plan the store visit indicating the main areas and quiet areas in store.
- De-sensitisation of store sounds at designated shopping times: with downloadable store sounds to assist in de-stressing the store visit;
- Reduce & standardise beep sounds on tills in stores nationwide;
- Staff awareness: E-learning modules available to all staff to tackle a general lack of awareness around autism and educate on how the steps taken in store will make a difference;
- Autism friendly trolleys Support the use of the ALF (Autism Lifeskill Friend) trolley – developed by a SuperValu employee;
- An expert panel established to meet three times a year to ensure that all initiatives are impactful, and relevant for families with autism
To find out more about the Autism friendly initiatives and to download specific maps for your area, visit www.supervalu.ie/autismfriendly.
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