For children and adults that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or other forms of neurodiversity, many aspects of daily life can be extremely challenging. 

It’s for this reason that several entertainment venues, museums, movie theaters, and sporting events have adopted sensory-friendly areas or theme-nights, so those that face these issues can still enjoy themselves. 

However, a typical task like going shopping can still become a nightmare for those who are sensory-sensitive. Now, one of the largest retail chains in New York is taking into account these difficulties, and putting a new policy into practice to make shopping less daunting and more enjoyable for their customers. 

Walmart shoppers
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Walmart Adding Sensory-Friendly Shopping Hours In New York State

Beginning this Friday (November 10th), every Walmart in New York State will offer sensory-friendly shopping hours daily, from 8am to 10am. The changes will also be implemented in Walmart stores throughout the US and Puerto Rico. 

The goal of Walmart’s new sensory-friendly hours is to make shopping in their stores easier for customers and employees who may experience issues otherwise. 

"We're always open to more feedback from our customers and associates and listening to what else can help create a less stimulating environment during those times." - Cedric Clark, Walmart Executive VP of Store Operations

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Walmart originally tested their sensory-friendly shopping experience for a couple of hours on Saturdays during the back to school shopping season, during which they changed TV screens to a static image, turned off the radio, and lowered the lights where possible. 

If a massive chain like Walmart is taking into account the needs of their customers who may have uncomfortable sensory issues to deal with, we can most likely expect other stores around New York State to do so as well. 

Will you be taking advantage of Walmart’s new sensory-friendly hours?

Explore The Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park

In a step toward being more accepting of neurodiversity, Letchworth State Park has opened an autism nature trail, the very first of its kind in the entire United States. 

Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

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