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Local opticians supports people living with autism

Added on: 6th June, 2018 by Isobel_35672

Local opticians supports people living with autism

Last Updated:
Wed, 6 June 2018

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Staff members at Specsavers in Barnsley have completed a course, developed with The National Autistic Society, to support customers with autism.

The initiative, which is being rolled out across Specsavers stores nationwide, aims to build the team’s knowledge about the lifelong developmental disability, while helping to improve the customer experience for people with autism, and their carers.

The online learning modules cover understanding autism; communicating with people with autism; how autism can impact the senses, and adjustments that stores can make.

Ashley Turner, a dispensing optician at Specsavers in Barnsley has completed the training. She says: ‘My understanding of autism has improved hugely since taking this training. Part of the module involved watching videos that helped you experience everyday environments through the eyes of someone living with autism and I found that particularly helpful in understanding how to support our customers with autism.

‘It’s so valuable to be able to communicate with everyone who walks through the door here as we’re catering to the whole community. Now, when a child with autism comes to collect their glasses, instead of quickly checking the fit on the shop floor where its bright and noisy, I’ll take them to a quieter, calmer environment so we can both concentrate better on what we’re trying to do.’

Darren Thornton, store director at Specsavers in Barnsley, adds: ‘Autism affects more than one in 100 people and as our store is such a big part of the community, it is vital that we are able to communicate and support those with the condition in the most effective way possible.

‘We are very proud to be involved in supporting The National Autistic Society and hope this training will help make the optical experience easier for people who are living with the condition.’

The National Autistic Society’s business development manager, Sharlene Wright, says: ‘This has been a great opportunity for us to increase awareness of autism in partnership with an organisation that is proactively seeking to enable autistic people to have a positive experience in its stores. It has been an inspiring collaboration and The National Autistic Society welcomes the open attitudes and minds with which Specsavers is seeking to enhance the lives of people on the autism spectrum.’

To book an appointment at Specsavers in Barnsley, or for more information on the initiative, call 01226 771 455, go to www.specsavers.co.uk/barnsley or visit the store on Queen Street.

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