Drogheda Retail Park is leading the way in sensory-friendly shopping by making store visits easier for people with autism and other sensory difficulties.
The project is set to be launched in Drogheda with a special family day on Saturday, April 27 between 11.00am and 1.00pm.
Initiatives will include the availability of peaked caps for people with autism and other sensory issues which will block out light and help staff to identify people who may need assistance.
Trips to the shops can be stressful for autistic adults and children and they can be overwhelmed by sensory experiences.
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Peaked caps reduce the possibility of sensory overload.
Drogheda Retail Park asset manager Sigma Retail Partners, which manages a number of retail parks across Ireland, is making the customer experience easier for families of children with special needs.
Working closely with stores, Drogheda Retail Park will provide advice to store staff and develop inclusive activities to improve the customer experience.
These will include ‘quiet hours’ to facilitate visits by people with autism and other sensory difficulties which will be advertised on the Park’s Facebook page.
The project will be launched with the autism-friendly family day for families of children with autism and other sensory issues on Saturday, April 27 between 11.00am and 1.00pm.
The spotlight on the family day will be on the Drogheda Retail Park community providing both fun for children and information for families.
“There needs to be bigger and better awareness of autism in our communities across the country and Drogheda Retail Park is more than happy to lead the way,” said Sigma’s Freda O’Donnell, asset manager at Drogheda.
“True autism-friendliness means that we welcome you, and we understand that sometimes that you may need additional support and we are happy to provide it.
“We are happy to launch this initiative in April, which is World Autism Month.
“Drogheda Retail Park plans to host other autism-awareness events and fundraising initiatives.”
Last June, Sigma unveiled its Parkway Retail Park facility in Limerick as Ireland’s First Autism and Sensory-Friendly retail park.
The project is part of Sigma’s commitment to social responsibility. ‘Do Well by Doing Good’ is theme of Sigma’s 2019 corporate responsibility programme.