Specsavers launches autism training for staff

The multiple has established a range of online courses designed to help its staff meet the needs of autistic patients

14 Dec 2017 by Emily McCormick

Specsavers has launched a series of online learning modules that have been developed in partnership with The National Autistic Society in order to help its employees better understand autism.

The initiative is designed to help build the knowledge that its staff have about autism, while also helping to improve the customer experience for people with autism in store.

The modules cover understanding autism, communicating with people with autism, how autism can impact the senses, and adjustments that practices can make.

Learning design programme manager for Specsavers, Helen Taylor, said: “I know all too well how difficult it can be for my autistic son to attend dental check-ups, doctor’s appointments and sight tests. It’s immediately clear if the person supporting us has had some form of autism training and has a good understanding of the condition. It can mean the difference between a successful health check-up that helps to build my son’s confidence and an extremely distressing experience.”

Specsavers Autism training

The multiple has worked with The National Autistic Society on a consultancy basis to design the bespoke training course.

The National Autistic Society’s business development manager, Sharlene Wright, said that working with Specsavers had been a “great opportunity to help 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.”

In 2016, Specsavers’ Trongate Centre practice in Glasgow became the first autism-friendly opticians in the UK, receiving The National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award. The store was awarded the accolade after providing autism awareness training for staff and creating a better environment for autistic customers by introducing weekly quiet times and a chill-out area.

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