sobeys sensory friendly hours

Toronto supermarket chain is now offering sensory-friendly shopping hours

One supermarket chain in Ontario is now more inclusive and accessible than ever, because all their locations in the province now have sensory-friendly shopping hours dedicated to those with autism. 

According to Autism Ontario, many people with autism are hypersensitive to lights and sounds.

In order to make the shopping experience more pleasant and relaxing for those on the autism spectrum, Sobeys is getting rid of almost all in-store lights and sounds for two hours every week. 

CityNews reported that Sobeys stores are turning down the lights, turning off the sounds of scanners, turning off the music and turning off announcements during the two hour period. 

Staff are also encouraged to speak softly and grocery carts are not gathered during that time.

This isn't the first time public spaces have moved to further accommodate those with special needs. 

Last Spring, Sobeys locations in Nova Scotia launched sensory-friendly shopping hours

Here in Toronto, Cineplex theatres, the Toronto Zoo and the ROM all have sensory-friendly hours for those who need it as well. 

Jacquelin Weatherbee, Sobeys Communication Director, told CityNews the hours also seem to also be helping those with other conditions, such as epilepsy and anxiety disorders. 

On top of that, she said even those who may not need it have said they’ve enjoyed the shopping experience more. 

According to Sobeys, sensory-friendly shopping hours are currently Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. but if the positive reception continues, those hours are likely to expand. Check with your store to ensure hours have not varied.

Lead photo by

Sobeys


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