On Monday 7 October, intu Milton Keynes will be supporting the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour – and will continue to do so weekly from then on.
From 4pm-6pm every Monday, the shopping centre and its stores will take simple steps where possible to create a more autism-friendly experience.
This includes turning down the volume of tannoy announcements, of music in shops, and on tills. The centre will also switch off the self-playing piano and dim the lights, plus there will be clear information about where things are and quiet spaces to go to. Staff at intu Milton Keynes are also receiving autism-friendly training.
This is all part of intu’s commitment to providing accessible shopping destinations for all and follows on from the launch of The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign which was launched with intu in 2017.
Autism charity Puzzle Centre and learning disability charity Macintyre will be at the shopping centre, offering advice to local people. intu Milton Keynes will also have its own stand, where you can learn about its autism friendly services including guides, ear defender hire and orange wrist bands.
intu Milton Keynes’ orange wrist bands are available at customer services and have been designed as a discreet way of informing staff that you are autistic. Autism friendly guides are also available, and the ear defender hire service at the customer service desk just requires a £5 refundable deposit.
The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour campaign involves businesses making small adjustments, to help autistic people and their families to feel safe and welcome whilst shopping. As well as making the adjustments, intu Milton Keynes will be ensuring that staff are informed about autism to help them make every shopper’s experience a good one.
Shelley Peppard, general manager of intu Milton Keynes, said: “We aim to be a truly accessible and inclusive shopping destination. We want to provide a safe, inviting environment for families to enjoy a day out, while raising awareness with customers about autism.
“Our relationships with charities such as the National Autistic Society, Macintyre and Puzzle Centre help us to action positive change. We look forward to welcoming families and individuals to these weekly events.”
For more information, visit https://intu.co.uk/miltonkeynes