“Oramica” arrives in Porte dello Jonio to facilitate shopping for people with autism


For the first time in a shopping center sounds and lights are reduced to make shopping accessible for people affected by autism spectrum disorders

Including and involving those who live in a situation of diversity. The gallery Porte dello Jonio decided to join the project “L’orAmica”, created by Onlus Mister Sorriso-Volontari della Gioia, with the objective of increasing the awareness on the issues of people affected by autism spectrum disorders among the owners of commercial activities.

For the first time in a shopping center lights will be dimmed and sounds will be reduced for an hour. Autism spectrum disorders affect one newborn out of a hundred, and can cause difficulties in the processing of sensorial information and make everyday things uncomfortable such as sounds, lights, smells and flavors, to the point of excluding the possibility of carrying out the most common tasks, such as shopping and strolling through a commercial center.

Gallery Porte dello Jonio decided to adhere to the initiative every Wednesday from 17 to 18 by switching off sound systems broadcasting music and ads, as well as reducing lighting up to 50% and leaving the door at the entrance open. In addition, activities for increasing awareness on the issue will be carried out for the single shops, and the label “L’orAmica” will be visible at the entrance of the center and of the single shops who joined the initiative.

Says Mauro Tatulli, Porte dello Jonio Property Manager:

The project will start from the first Wednesday of June. Everything started from a request of the association “Mister Sorriso”, who proposed us to record a video in the shopping center to demonstrate the level of discomfort perceived in shopping centers by people affected by autism spectrum disorders. Having understood the importance of the project, we took action to be the pilot commercial center and bring into our center the project “L’orAmica”. In the future our next objective is to turn down the sound of scanners at the register so as to help as much as possible people affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Says Claudio Papa, Manager of Onlus Mister Sorriso-Volontari della Gioia:

We are very satisfied with this collaboration with Ceetrus, because until now nothing similar has ever been done in a shopping center: with small measures it’s really possible to make a difference for subjects affected by autism. We hope to extend this experiment soon with other centers and turn it into a big international project.

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