The brand has chosen the El Sabio Getafe shop as a pilot project to create accessible spaces for both children and adults with ASDs.

Ordes (A Coruña) 13 December 2021.- Hardware shop chain El Sabio specialised in DIY, forestry, orchards, and gardening has opened in the autonomous community of Madrid the first shop in Spain with the seal #AutismFriendly. With the granting of this mark, the shop El Sabio Getafe, in Getafe 3 shopping centre, has become a space fully accessible for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), which only in Spain, affects some 450,000 people.

The seal #AutismFriendly identifies those spaces and environments that meet a number of requirements in the domain of cognitive accessibility aimed at reducing the difficulties faced by people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) when communicating or engaging in any social activity such as entering a shop and requesting a product. The El Sabio Getafe meets all the requirements set by the Autism Friendly Club, the institution granting this mark: staff training, the writing of specific protocols and accessibility, including the marking of the different sections of the shop with pictograms and a map of the area available at the shop website.

This means that all 750 m2 of the exhibition space of the El Sabio Getafe have over thirty pictograms strategically placed for easier understanding of the products placed on the display shelves. Besides, the staff have been trained in diversity and inclusion issues so that they are able to identify ASDs and have familiarized themselves with social care techniques. The lighting and the background music in the shop also meet the requirements set by the mark.

El Sabio Getafe AutismFriendly

Raising awareness

“If you approach a customer and they look down or don’t look at the face or don’t  respond to a smile or find it hard to communicate, you may be before a person with autism, and if so, our staff will be able to assist them properly, explains Yolanda Peña, who is in charge of El Sabio Getafe and one of the persons behind this initiative, which El Sabio intends to introduce in all its shops.

“This is about raising awareness on a reality that is very present in the daily lives of thousands of people”, remarks Yolanda, who speaks from her personal experience as a mother of two children with autism and who has a first-hand experience of the lack of knowledge by society at large about ASDs, a neurobiological disorder that affects the configuration of the nervous system and brain functioning that leads to difficulties in communication and social interaction and which, according to the latest estimates, affects one in every hundred people in Spain.

Accessible “Sabio” shops

The El Sabio project began in 2020 with the opening of its first brick and mortar shops in A Coruña. Today it is present in eight autonomous communities: Galicia, Asturias, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Comunidad de Madrid, Aragón, Andalucía and Castilla y León. Currently, the El Sabio network consists of the following shops: El Sabio Agrosilva and El Sabio A Botica do Agro (A Coruña), El Sabio Saínza (Ourense), El Sabio Roces Belón (Langreo, Asturias), El  Sabio Ferrex and El Sabio Antonio Mena (Badajoz), El Sabio Cherjos (Puebla de Almoradiel, Toledo), El Sabio Getafe (Getafe, Madrid), El Sabio Mascoticas (Zaragoza), El Sabio Fidela (Sariñena, Huesca), El Sabio Comercial Pineda (Fines, Almería), El Sabio Dreyma (Villaconejos, Madrid), El Sabio VL Friol  (Lugo) and a new addition, El Sabio Comercial Grande (León).

El Sabio is a unique project that is part of an innovative business strategy driven by Galician group Internaco, which wishes to promote the model of traditional ironmonger’s shops by transforming the business into new purchasing experiences and establishing a strong network of locally involved shops. Its goal is to compete unashamedly in a market overrun by the depersonalization of multinationals. Its commitment to the local as opposed to the global is the objective of the brand, which stands out for offering a different, omnichannel buying experience. El Sabio makes all the expertise of local ironmongers available to its customers through its website at www.elsabio.eu.

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