TrustFord has shown its support for the National Autistic Society by helping to raise awareness throughout World Autism Awareness Week (April 1 to 7).
The Ford of Britain-owned AM100 car retail group has consistently aligned its support with the National Autistic Society, as TrustFord became the “first and only” automotive company to participate in 2017’s ‘Autism Hour’ initiative.
This involved making changes to their environment, making them more accessible to customers with autism.
The results of which has seen all dealerships in the region offering pre-visit information booklets and sensory packs for children, ASD-friendly sessions at quieter times, chair leg protectors to stop scraping noises, and service advisors with an accredited AQA qualification in ‘Features of Autistic Spectrum Disorder’.
Throughout World Autism Awareness Week, and every Thursday from 10am to 11am, all TrustFord dealerships are making changes to their environments to make them quieter, calmer, and more accessible to customers with autism.
Examples of these changes include dimming the showroom lights, turning down the volume of music and tannoy announcements played in dealerships, keeping workshop noise to a minimum, and sharing information about autism with our colleagues to help raise awareness.
TrustFord’s chairman and chief executive, Stuart Foulds, said: "TrustFord has long been committed to driving the standard in customer care, and catering our in-store offering to a range of customer needs is central to that.
We are proud to support the National Autistic Society in raising awareness of autism – both this week, and every Thursday from 10-11am - across all of our dealerships.
“Since rolling out Autism Hour across the UK last year we have seen the significant difference these very minor adjustments to our dealership environment can make to our customers with autism.
"Making the automotive industry accessible to all customers is a priority for TrustFord, and I hope that the wider industry will join us by making similar commitments to inclusivity."
TrustFord has a long track record of working with autism charities, with its Northern Ireland dealerships receiving the Autism Impact Award in 2018 in recognition of their commitment to accessibility adjustments.