Vodafone Ireland has introduced autism-friendly retail hours in a number of its stores across Ireland, as part of its company-wide neurodiversity programme.
Vodafone Ireland explained in a statement ‘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 programme was created in partnership with AsIAm, a not-for-profit charity organisation that works on behalf of the autism community in Ireland. AsIAm conducted an environmental audit of Vodafone’s retail stores to identify opportunities to improve the shopping experience for autistic visitors.
People with autism may become overwhelmed by a sensory environment. To support its customers, Vodafone retail stores will offer a variety of sensory inputs such as a ‘relaxation box’, which includes sunglasses with visor, stress ball, ear defender and scented tags.
The in-store autism activity is just one element of Vodafone’s Autism friendly programme, other initiatives will run across employment opportunities, events and education.
‘We are committed to ensuring that nobody is left behind on the journey toward a digital future.’ said James Magill, Human Resource Director at Vodafone Ireland.