Vodafone Ireland this week announced it has introduced autism friendly retail hours in a number of stores across Ireland including its Tralee location. The aim of this new initiative is to ensure a better digital future is accessible to all, making technology and employment opportunities more accessible to members of the autism community. The programme will see reduced noise, priority seating and appointments every Wednesday between 9am and 11am.
The introduction of autism friendly retail hours is part of the wider autism friendly programme being run by Vodafone Ireland. Autism immediately affects a quarter of a million people in Ireland when taking in the family unit. Vodafone is committed to helping this community by creating accessibility measures in store, supporting inclusive employment and making its technology services more accessible to autistic people.
Vodafone is the first network in Ireland to introduce autism friendly hours in its retail outlets. The programme has been created in partnership with AsIAm, a not-for-profit charity organisation working on behalf of the Autism Community in Ireland . AsIAm also work on improving the understanding, awareness and support of Autism across Ireland and the charity has undergone an environmental audit in Vodafone retail stores.
An autistic person may become overwhelmed by their sensory environment. To help with this, Vodafone retail stores will offer the free use of a variety of sensory inputs to its customers in store. This will be in the form of a ‘Relaxation Box’, which will be easily accessible to all customers, and will include sunglasses with visor, stress ball, ear defender and scented tags.
Education: Along with implementing training for its retail staff, AsIAm and Specialisterne have hosted sensory exhibitions at the Vodafone head office. and Inclusive Events:
The autism friendly store hours will be starting at 25 stores across the country with plans to roll out across the rest of the country later in the year. For more information, visit: www.vodafone.com