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Category: disability, accessability, Autism, deafness, sainsburys, living with deafness, shopping, supermarket
For people living with deafness or autism, a simple visit to the supermarket can involve certain challenges. Sainsbury’s have, therefore, taken steps to help take the stress out of shopping.
Sainsbury’s want to develop an inclusive environment where everybody loves to shop and work including people who are living with disabilities and those who take care of them.
As a part of Sainsbury’s non-visible disabilities awareness week, they worked with colleagues who make use of deaf signing language to create a film in order to provide all their store staff the confidence that they need to communicate with people suffering from deafness or hearing impairment.
Sainsbury’s Head of Customer Experience said that they want all customers to have a really wonderful shopping experience.
The film, ‘Life Doesn’t Come with Subtitles: Tips for Communication With Deaf Customers’, have won several high-profile endorsements and awards. It has also won the backing of colleagues who have first-hand experience of the issues that are faced by deaf people.
Tracey Kennard, who appears in the film and works at Sainsbury’s Dartford, grew up with a deaf parent. She said that she has noticed a change in her colleagues after watching the film and from being nervous, they have gone to becoming confident at communicating with deaf customers. She said that it only takes a simple ‘Hello’ in sign languages to make a deaf customer feel valued.
Assisting people suffering from autism
3 of Sainsbury's stores in Liverpool trialled an initiative that was aimed at making shopping trouble-free and easy for those with autism.
When people with autism begin their shopping trip, their parents are allowed to ask for varied store modifications - from turning off cafe music and tannoy to making use of the store’s assisted shopping services, as well as, priority checkout if queuing is particularly difficult for their children.
Practical training and tips on aspects of autism from community enterprise Autism Adventures was given to the colleagues who were a part of the trial. They also had to spend time with a child with autism in order to directly learn from them.
Sainsbury’s closely listened to the parents of the autistic children throughout the trial about what they can do more to make their visits to the store as stress-free and simple as possible.
They offers more than 50,000 hours of disability awareness training to their colleagues in the year 2016. Sainsbury’s also launched numerous pioneering initiatives in order to make their store welcoming to those with disabilities.
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