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Thinking About Introducing "Quiet Hours" at Your Shop? Here Are Some Suggestions...

Updated: Apr 15

We are delighted to report that a number of local retailers have contacted us for advice on introducing "Quiet Hours" recently, to ensure their shopping environment is accessible.

The Autism Guernsey team is small, so we cannot offer in-person support to everyone (as much as we wish we could). But we want to encourage the offer of "Quiet Hours", so we hope this blog post, guidance document, and checklist is a helpful starting point.

What are Quiet Hours?

Quiet Hours are specific times in the week when the shopping environment is adjusted to make it more accessible for customers with sensory difficulties (this can be anyone who finds the sensory aspects of shopping overstimulating – not just autistic people).   


Typically, Quiet Hours involve taking steps to create a calmer environment, such as dimming the lights where possible and not playing any music.   


Minor changes can help make the shopping experience more comfortable for people.  

What environmental changes are recommended for Quiet Hours?  


The changes you make depend on your specific environment, but you could:   


  • Dim the lights.  

  • Turn off any music.  

  • Be mindful of loud and distracting noises, such as a ticking clock.   

  • Provide an online stock list with photos the customer could browse before visiting the shop.   

  • Reduce strong smells.  

  • Reduce visual clutter.  

  • Provide a social story/visual guide on your website so customers can prepare for their visit to your shop.   

  • Ask, “Do you shake hands?” instead of automatically greeting customers with a handshake.   

  • Provide your staff with autism awareness training so they can adjust their communication style with customers, e.g., speaking more directly and not forcing eye contact.   

  • Ask, “How can I improve this shopping experience for you?”   


Here is a checklist of questions to think about before you start to offer and advertise Quiet Hours:   




  • Have you created a list of changes you will make for Quiet Hours and shared these with the relevant staff?  

  • How will you ensure all staff are aware of your Quiet Hours? (e.g., staff briefing, newsletter, training, etc.).  

  • How will you ensure all customers are aware of your Quiet Hours? (e.g., social media, posters, signage, email newsletters, etc.).  

  • Have you arranged autism awareness training for your staff (as this will help them understand why Quiet Hours are important)? Autism Guernsey can provide this

Need more support?

If you need bespoke autism-specific support, such as staff training and sensory environment assessments, please visit the training page of this website and then contact us to discuss your requirements.


You can download this guidance and checklist below.

Quiet Hours Checklist
Download PDF • 259KB

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