It’s absolutely essential that companies do everything necessary to make their business accessible to those with disabilities. Doing this might involve adding special access points, allowing service animals, training employees in disability support and even adding subtitles to your social media advertisements.
By making your business more inclusive, you will be able to help and serve more people in the community.
To help you out, we’re going to go over 4 tips to make your business more accessible for those with disabilities.
- Disability support training for staff
To help your staff be more inclusive, you could host disability awareness seminars or encourage disability support training.
Usually, these programs will address how to provide services to those with specific needs, what safety procedures to follow, how to communicate with those with literacy and numeracy needs and how to be respectful when dealing with sensitive situations.
Ideally, all your workers should know how to address most issues that someone with a disability might encounter. The goal is for those with disabilities to feel comfortable asking questions and requesting help.
- Make your business easy to navigate
For the sake of customers that require mobility scooters or wheelchairs, you will need to make sure that your place of business is easy to navigate. Usually, this means adding ramps, automatic gates and lifts. It’s also important to keep paths as safe as possible by having level mats, tactile floor indicators and a regular cleaning routine for your floors. You should also have sufficient lighting so that customers can see where they’re going.
If someone needs help moving around your store or office, your staff should have the skills and knowledge required to provide them with the proper service.
Disability access to toilets and sanitation facilities are also important in order to prevent viruses and diseases from spreading.
- Make your business easy to see
For those with vision impairments, it’s important for your place of business to have clear signs, easy-to-read menus, high-visibility makers for raised platforms and contrasting colours where necessary. For individuals who are blind, deafblind or have low vision, it’s also essential that you have braille signage. Certainly, effective visual communication is one of the key aspects of disability access.
Sometimes, visibility is about removing something rather than adding. For example, clear glass doors and partitions can be difficult to see for those with vision problems. If possible, try to limit the amount of glass partitions that you have at the entrance of your store. Supermarkets and large clothing stores like Uniqlo, for instance, often have large open entrance ways.
If you can’t avoid using glass, you need to have some type of marking on it. This could be your company logo or your operating hours. These markings will let the shoppers know where the glass partitions are in your place of business.
- Digital accessibility
Nowadays, you also have to pay attention to the digital accessibility of your business. This means your website, social media content and advertisements needs to be designed for those with disabilities. Images on your site need to have alternative text and your videos need to have subtitles. If you’re doing live stream presentations, it’s also ideal to have a sign language translator at hand.
Another aspect of digital accessibility is disability representation. Like it or not, what we see on TV, movies, advertisements and websites affect the way we see other people and the way we perceive ourselves. If we don’t see those who are similar to us in popular media, we might feel that we don’t belong or don’t have the same potential as everyone else. As such, it’s important to represent those with disabilities in your images and videos.
To make sure that everyone feels welcome in your place of business, it’s important to work on these different aspects of the company. If you have any concern or questions about the legalities around disability accessibility, be sure to visit your local government website.