Hi readers, it’s Emily and William here this week talking about quiet zones and making places accessible for everyone.

The reason we want to write about this is that I, Emily, recently read an article about Asda having a quiet time, between 2-3pm, for people to do their shopping on some days of the week and in all of its stores. Other supermarkets are also doing it, which is great. It means that they won’t play any music, have any announcements and even some stores will stop the tills from bleeping.

It’s really good for people who have hidden disabilities and get anxious about noise. They are also going to put in more changing places, hearing loops and other facilities to help people who have a disability.

It got us both thinking about other things which are done to help people manage public spaces. For example, the quiet zones on trains are really good, as long as everyone remembers to turn their phones off. It’s good to have a choice about where you sit because not everyone wants peace and quiet.

There are many cinemas and theatres now which have accessible performances, so it’s ok for people to make a bit of noise if they struggle to keep quiet or sit still for long periods of time.

Another way to help older people is to have adult only hotels, where people wanting a quiet holiday can go without worrying about lots of noisy children playing in the pool or screaming. Although it’s lovely to see children playing and making a noise, it might not be so much fun if you don’t know them and you just want to have a break away and read your book!

There are probably lots more ways to make spaces accessible and that’s a good thing.

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by The Friendship Club– a project for adults with learning disabilities, run by People First Dorset.

Find out more at: https://www.peoplefirstdorset.org.uk/friendshipclub