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Sensory Friendly Businesses

WHY ARE SENSORY-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS IMPORTANT?


Walmart joins the growing list of stores, theaters, and attractions offering "sensory-friendly" hours for people with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodivergent conditions who may be more sensitive to light, sound, and moving images. During these dedicated hours, stores are making accommodations like replacing moving pictures on screens with static images, turning off store music, lowering overhead lights, and providing shorter lines to create environments to make shopping more friendly to those with autism and other sensory issues and their families so they can participate more fully in normal life routines.


BENEFITS TO SHOPPERS

An article for JAMA Pediatrics in 2018 stated that 1 in 6 children in the United States have sensory processing difficulties and, in specific populations, the prevalence which also includes children with ASD is estimated to be as high as 80% to 100%. "We are striving every day to create a culture where everyone feels they belong," said Julie Barber, Executive Vice President of General Merchandise at Walmart.



7 TIPS TO MAKE BUSINESSES MORE SENSORY-FRIENDLY


Making business environments more "sensory-friendly" is on the rise nationally because it's good for business and makes a major difference to the people who need them. These are some common, low-cost, and effective ways for business owners to create more sensory-friendly environments for everyone as suggested by Sensory Friendly Solutions:



  1. Dimmed Lighting

  2. Reduce Noise

  3. Create Quiet Zones

  4. Offer Toilets

  5. Offer Seating

  6. Alleviate Smells

  7. Remove Clutter

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