Malaysian mall launches weekly Autism Friendly Shopping Day
Sunway Putra Mall has launched a weekly Autism Friendly Shopping Day to raise awareness of ASD.
Describing itself as “Malaysia’s first autism-friendly shopping centre,” the mall has created its “Autsome” (short for “Autism is Awesome”) initiative to educate the public and recognise the challenges faced by the autistic community, seeking advice from the National Autism Society of Malaysia and the Autism Behavioural Centre.
As a part the campaign, the mall has designated Tuesdays as Autism Friendly Shopping Day from 10am-5pm.
“It is highlighted that one in 68 people in Malaysia is diagnosed with autism, so by initiating this, we hope that the public will have a greater understanding of ASD and at the same time, allow families with autistic individuals to enjoy a stress-free shopping experience without feeling uneasy or self-conscious when they visit the mall,” said Phang Sau Lian, GM of Sunway Putra Mall.
Each Autsome day, families with autistic individuals can visit the mall and enjoy services including:
Autsome Kit: A welcome kit that consist of a car sticker, a wrist band for easy identification including useful information on how they can enjoy the autism friendly facilities. Parents can register online and collect the kit at the Concierge Counter on the ground floor.
Dimmed lights and toned-down music volume: Lights and music in common areas and at participating retail outlets will be dimmed or lowered.
Reserved Parking: Parking bays at Basement 1 are reserved every Tuesday for the convenience of families with autistic individuals.
Shopping Assistance: Customer care staff will be available to lend a helping hand to carry shopping bags or offer further assistance.
Everyday autism-friendly facilities are also available at the mall, all week round, including a Calm Room on the lower-ground level with dimmed lights, and a Sensory Wall with sensory friendly textures on level 2 and 3.
More than 300,000 people in Malaysia are estimated to suffer from autism and there have been large-scale initiatives over recent years to help educate the public about the condition.