ZHO Launches 'Quiet Hour' Initiative For Children With Autism At Yas Mall
Sumaira FH 8 days ago Sat 03rd April 2021 | 04:15 PM
ABU DHABI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 03rd Apr, 2021) To mark World Autism Awareness Day, Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO), in cooperation with the management of Yas Mall Abu Dhabi, has launched the "Quiet Hour" initiative, to provide sensory-controlled shopping experiences.
This includes a "quiet room" that provided a haven inside the mall for those in need, aiming to help people with autism and other sensory disorders and their parents, allowing them to spend some time and relax in a sensory-controlled environment, creating a safe and quiet place, where families can enjoy a customised shopping experience.
Yas Mall management will implement this initiative on the first Monday of each month, starting from 5th April, 2021. The quiet hour will be from 11:00 to Noon, creating a calm shopping experience in contrast to the usual bustling shopping environment.
The ZHO has come to an agreement with key commercial centres in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to cooperate to implement the initiative, which requires the implementation of sensory control measures, including reducing the brightness of light, cancellation of background music in stores, limiting odours from perfume and incense stores, in addition to cessation of all advertisements, except for emergency information. The initiative also requires those store activities such as restocking shelves, arranging stock and other similar activities be restricted during the "Quiet Hour", to create a calm atmosphere suitable for individuals with autism and other sensory disorders such as dementia.
Abdullah Abdulalee Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of ZHO, said, "The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is keen to provide a decent life for all segments of society, especially people of determination, including those on the Autism Spectrum, as it has established specialised centres to provide them with support and rehabilitative services, working toward their empowerment and social inclusion, while recognising the immeasurable value of family support for such initiatives.
Al Humaidan explained that the ZHO is keen to launch initiatives that will ensure the availability of accessible environments for people of determination, whether within the organisation’s rehabilitation care centres or in the external community. Therefore, the organisation launched the "Quiet Hour" initiative in cooperation with the management of Yas Mall, provided that this experiment is implemented in several major commercial centres during the next phase of the initiative, including the World Trade Centre in Abu Dhabi and the Al Jimi Mall in Al Ain.
Saud Khoury, CEO of Retail at Aldar Investments, said, "As part of our continuous efforts to support people of determination, their families, and caregivers, we are pleased to open the region's first quiet room at Yas Mall and provide a monthly quiet hour service. We understand that spending time in the mall can be an anxious and stressful experience for some individuals, and through this launch, we aim to help alleviate such anxiety by providing a therapeutic environment customised to their needs and preferences."
He highlighted the fact that Yas Mall has obtained a gold certificate from the World Federation of Disabilities, a distinction awarded to organisations that are accessible and inclusive for people of determination.