Staff at Specsavers Washington 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.

A word from the store director

Robin Stuart, store director at Specsavers Washington, said: ‘Autism affects more than one in 100 people1 and as our store is such a big part of the community, it is vital that we are able to communicate and support someone with the condition in the most effective way possible.

‘Members of the team have already completed the different learning modules. We are very proud to be involved in support of The National Autistic Society and we hope this training will help make the optical experience easier for people who are living with the condition.’

Training experience

Samantha Turner, Dispenser at Specsavers Washington, who undertook the training, said: ‘I am always keen to take part in training which is offered to us but I felt particularly strongly about ensuring I complete this course.

‘If the training helps just one person with autism then I believe that undertaking the training has been worth it.’

The National Autistic Society’s business development manager, Sharlene Wright, said: ‘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.’

All Washington store information