Inclusive Shopping

The Howgate Shopping Centre has become the very first shopping centre in Scotland to be certified as autism-friendly after achieving the National Autistic Society Scotland’s Autism Friendly Award.  The Autism Friendly Award, administered by the National Autistic Society Scotland, recognises organisations that ensure autistic visitors and their families can access and enjoy their venues.

 

We understand that visiting a shopping centre can be a stressful experience and we want to help make your trip easier. We appreciate that not all disabilities are visible so we work with many local groups to try ​to understand differing needs of our customers. Many of our staff, and their families, are living with disabilities and/or have additional support needs. 

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​Alzheimer Scotland

The Howgate team have received awareness training through Alzheimer Scotland and we are proud to be listed as supporters of Dementia Friends Scotland. More information and a link to a short video entitled 'Understanding Dementia' can be found on their website.

http://www.dementiafriendsscotland.org/

Forth Valley Sensory Centre

We ​contacted Forth Valley Sensory Centre to ask how we could assist visitors with vision and hearing impairments.  They provided fantastic on-site training with goggles and ear defenders to help us understand the difficulties faced by some of our shoppers. Our team ​are happy to act as guides, and assistance dogs are welcome within the centre. We are in the process of purchasing a mobile induction loop which can be hired out free of charge from our helpdesk.

Wheelchairs and Mobility

The mall is mainly on a single level which is accessible from the High Street and from Pleasance (where there is on street parking for blue badge holders). There are 4 spacious lifts serving the other levels of the centre for toilets, management suite and shops at mezzanine level. Manual wheelchairs are available for free hire from our helpdesk. These can be used throughout the town centre and our team are happy to assist you to/from your vehicle if required. We have 4 accessible toilets, 2 on mall level and 2 on level 4. One of the mall level toilets is currently fitted with a RADAR lock to help reduce abuse of our facilities. All Howgate staff have access to a RADAR key and will be happy to provide access to anyone on request. Accessible parking is on level 3 of the car park where there are automatic door and lifts to allow easy access to mall level. We are currently trying to source funding to allow us to install a changing place toilet in future.

Not Every Disability is Visible

We support the Crohn's and Colitis UK campaign to raise awareness of hidden disabilities and our accessible toilets are available to anyone who needs them. 

Friends of Autism

We understand that a visit to a busy shopping centre can be especially daunting to some people with autism spectrum conditions (ASC), sensory or additional needs . To help make your visit as enjoyable as possible, we have created a number of helpful resources for people with autism and their parents/ carers. These are available to download below. The downloads include a visual guide (aimed predominantly at children with ASC) and a detailed guide (aimed predominantly at parents/carer or adults with ASC ) to the centre, which aim to support you from the early stages of planning a visit, arriving at the Centre, information about the amenities and what to do in an emergency. We have also developed alert cards that can be used throughout your visit at your discretion.

Sensory Sunday

Howgate Sensory Shopping

We would love to improve our centre further and are hear your feedback on our facilities, service or how we can help further. Please phone 01324 631985 or email [email protected]

DOWNLOADS

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