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MEDIA RELEASE - Businesses show their support for Quiet Hour

23 May 2019

Local businesses have shown their support for autism awareness in the Glenelg Shire following a surge in business participation as part of council’s annual Quiet Hour initiative.

Quiet Hour, which offers a sensory friendly shopping experience, resulted in a 25 per cent increase in business participation this year, with 21 businesses supporting the campaign throughout April.

Furthermore, five businesses have made Quiet Hour a regular occurrence, taking up the initiative on a permanent basis.
Glenelg Shire access and inclusion officer Justine Cain was proud to see so many businesses eager to provide an autism friendly shopping experience.

“It is fantastic to see so many local businesses coming on board this year to support Quiet Hour as part of our World Autism Awareness Month celebrations. The initiative continues to go from strength to strength since it was first launched in 2018,” she said.

“Many people don’t realise just how overwhelming a trip to the shops can be for those on the autism spectrum. Thanks to the support of local businesses, Quiet Hour has helped to raise awareness for autism and the barriers that are faced on a daily basis.

“In particular I would like to thank Guardian Pharmacy, Main Street Café, A Little Decorum, Natural Soy Creations and The Shoe Cove who have now made Quiet Hour a permanent part of their business operations.”

Guardian Pharmacy retail manager Lee Caddick said the decision to offer Quiet Hour was an easy one.

“We immediately said yes to the initiative when we were approached. It’s a great way to encourage community awareness and the impact upon our day to day business operations was minimal - why wouldn’t we offer something so simple yet so inclusive,” she said.

“We found that the benefits were not only just reaped by the community, our staff members found Tuesday mornings to be their new favourite day of the week thanks to the calming store environment.”

Quiet Hour was also offered at A Little Decorum, Admella’s Fruit and Veg, Baker’s Delight, Café Lazat, Charlotte Boutique, Duck Inn Café, Halliday’s Butchers, Harbour Lights Takeaway, Hollands Picture Framing, JJ Balloons, Men’s Gear and Beer, Portland Arts Centre, Daly’s IGA Portland, Portland Library, Portland Phone Shop, Gordon Hotel and the Big O Takeaway.

The initiative included lower radio levels, dimmed lighting levels and minimal store announcements offered every Tuesday morning from 10:30am – 11:30am to make shopping easier for those on the autism spectrum.

Quiet Hour has gathered momentum in recent years with supermarket giant Coles introducing the sensory friendly experience on a regular basis across 256 stores since November 2017.

At a local level, independent grocer Daly’s IGA Portland has offered Quiet Hour on a regular basis every Tuesday morning since 2018.

For further details or to discuss how your business can offer a sensory friendly experience please contact access and inclusion officer Justine Cain on jcain@glenelg.vic.gov.au or phone 1300 GLENELG.


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