Enhancing inclusivity: Retailers embrace sensory-friendly hours and accommodations

Jul 27, 2023
Written by WR Communications


In an ever-growing inclusive society, retail businesses and public spaces are adopting sensory-friendly hours and accommodations, supporting a more inclusive environment for children and adults with sensory sensitivities. This practice, known as ‘Sensory-friendly hours,’ is a small yet significant step businesses are taking to welcome a section of the population that often finds participation in regular activities challenging due to sensory overload.

Sensory-friendly hours entail modifications like reducing noise, dimming lights, and possibly decreasing capacity, crafting an environment suitable for individuals with neurodivergent conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder. A commendable example is the retail giant Walmart, which recently joined this inclusive initiative. In a blog post centered around back-to-school shopping, Walmart announced its commitment to forging a more inclusive shopping atmosphere. The retail giant will introduce sensory-friendly hours from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays throughout July and August, commencing July 22, in most of its stores.

According to a 2018 article in JAMA Pediatrics, 1 in 6 children in the United States face sensory processing difficulties. This initiative aids not just children but also adults with similar challenges. As society evolves, businesses are realizing that such inclusive practices are not only good for their reputation but also significantly improve the lives of those who need them. So, expect to see the growth of sensory-friendly hours and accommodations, as more businesses join this inclusive move.


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