Earlier this spring Oliver and I walked into the Sobeys grocery store on Allen Street in Charlottetown on a Tuesday night.
As soon as we walked in the door I noticed that something was different: the lights were lower, there wasn’t any Muzak, and I didn’t hear any announcements over the public address system.
It was as if Sobeys had opted to remove a bunch of the really annoying things about being in the store, things that we might not be completely aware are annoying until they’re removed.
It turns out that we had, by happenstance, walked into Sobeys during the two hour period, every Tuesday night, when they offer “Sensory Friendly Shopping,” an initiative undertaken in cooperation with The Autism Society of PEI.
This is a great idea, and one, I am told, that may in fact be spread to Sobeys stores across Canada in the near future.
Not only is it a gift to autistic people, but it is a gift to everyone, proving, yet again, that “accessible design” is most often synonymous with “good design.”
If you get a chance to experience Tuesday night shopping at Sobeys, and you agree, perhaps you could drop Sobeys a note of thanks?