Measures Will Be Implemented Every Tuesday Between 6.30 – 8.30pm
ALDI Ireland has today launched the nationwide roll out of autism-friendly hours, which will see the implementation of a number of autism-friendly measures in ALDI stores every Tuesday between 6.30 – 8.30pm.
Following a successful trial, ALDI has introduced the measure across their entire store network of 156 stores in Ireland beginning Monday, 24 April.
During the autism-friendly hours, ALDI stores will:
The use of JAM cards will also be rolled out in all ALDI stores to increase accessibility for all shoppers. JAM cards, which can be presented as a physical card or by app, offer discreet accessibility by allowing people to ask for a minute of patience in any situation they need.
Alongside these measures, store colleagues will also be briefed prior to the commencement of the autism-friendly hours and asked to consider noise levels and any additional needs customers may have.
Customers can find full details of the measures to promote autism-friendly shopping on the digital screens or window displays in each ALDI store.
Nicola Tipping, Business Development Manager at NOW Group, a social enterprise committed to supporting those with autism and learning difficulties, commented:
“It is all about increasing public understanding and making things, such as a shop, which is an everyday necessity, become accessible for an autistic person just as it is for everybody else. We are thrilled that ALDI are taking measures to address this by launching a nationwide roll out of autism-friendly hours, providing an opportunity for those with autism, a hidden disability, or a communication barrier, to shop without the crowds, noise and unpredictability.”
Talking about the adoption of the JAM Card, Nicola adds: “We are proud to have been working with the staff at ALDI, training the team to become JAM Card friendly. Since launching the JAM Card initiative in 2012, the scheme has been a resounding success with more than 2,500 organisations across the country participating in the training programme.
We hope that this announcement will encourage other organisations across all industries to see the benefits of joining us in committing to support and facilitate a more fully autism-inclusive and neurodiverse friendly society.”
Commenting, Liz Fox, Corporate Responsibility Director at ALDI Ireland, said:
“We want ALDI to be as welcoming a place as possible for all of our customers and so from today, 24 April, we will be rolling out designated autism-friendly hours between 6.30 and 8.30pm every Tuesday across each of our 156 stores.
At ALDI we understand that our customers often have diverse needs and requirements, and by implementing these measures to want to enhance the customer experience for those who may be sensitive to noise, bright lights or other sensory information. Alongside the measures we will be introducing during the autism-friendly shopping hours, we will also be implementing the use of JAM cards throughout our stores. JAM cards increase accessibility for those with autism, learning difficulties or communication difficulties, by asking for additional patience from store employees.”
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