The Sensory Supermarket (August 2022)

“What makes a supermarket challenging I think is… just the noise… you can just hear everything, so you hear people, you hear like beeping, you hear like people pushing stuff, like you just hear everything. It’s very overwhelming.”

Sensory Street Participant

In 2021 we ran a series of online focus groups and asked people to answer a range of questions on our social media pages. We also worked with staff at a special school to learn more about how sensory processing difficulties affects their autistic children’s experiences of public spaces such as supermarkets and restaurants. People rated supermarkets as one of the most disabling sensory environments, identifying a range of factors that may make them challenging spaces for autistic people.

On the 19-20th of August, we will be bringing our Sensory Supermarket to PEARL in Dagenham in partnership with Sensory Spectacle. This event aims to showcase our findings and explore how supermarkets can be disabling sensory environments for autistic people.

As part of this event we will be sharing perspectives from autistic people from our focus groups as well as our research findings, including our principles of sensory environments as well as more information about locations that are more or less disabling. We hope our immersive event will show individuals and businesses how they can make locations more enabling and accessible for autistic people.

Free tickets are available from:

Please note: Part of this event aims to create a heightened sensory experience of a supermarket based on quotes from autistic people. Multisensory stimuli such as loud noises and strong scents will be present throughout which some people may find more challenging. There will be designated quiet spaces for those who may feel overwhelmed.

There may be photography and/or video recording at the event. If you do not wish to be photographed/videoed please let us know.

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