5 Tips to Make Your Business More Accessible for People With Disabilities
Is your business accessible to people with disabilities (PWDs)? If not, then this is something you need to address right away because doing so makes tremendous economic sense and will help further the goal of developing a more inclusive society.
According to a report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), around 18 percent of the population or over 4 million Australians have a disability. This means that if your place of business poses impediments to the mobility of or freedom of movement among people with disabilities, you’ll be losing revenue from them. You might also lose the goodwill of their families and friends if your establishment is not PWD-friendly.
So if you’re planning to make your business more accessible to people with disabilities, consider the following tips:
1. Ensure you have access-friendly pathways and doors.
Show people you care by providing elderly people and mobility aid users easy access to your facilities. Instal wheelchair ramps and automatic doors which allow customers with mobility issues, including parents with babies in strollers, to enter your establishment unhampered.
2. Display clear signage.
All signage in your business premises must be clear and visible from a distance. Use fonts without the serif and in large point sizes (e.g. Arial 72 points) as these are easier to read. If the main entrance to your facility cannot be accessed by wheelchair users but there is an alternate PWD-friendly route elsewhere, there should be clear signage showing this.
If you have the resources, have staff present at the entrance area ready to direct and assist PWDs to the appropriate pathway. Include the International Symbol of Accessibility along wheelchair-accessible sections, too.
3. Keep aisles and other pathways free from obstructions.
Whether it’s customers with seeing, hearing or other impairments, ensuring passageways or aisles are free from tripping hazards provides PWDs a seamless experience in your premises.
4. Make all facilities accessible during business hours.
Do not lock bathrooms or lifts which everyone, not just PWDs, might use during business hours. Make bathrooms easily accessible through the use of a continuous route with matching signage. Avoid using changing rooms or bathrooms as storage areas, and position wastebaskets, rubbish bins and other moveable objects away from the main and cubicle doors.
5. Illuminate passageways properly.
You can facilitate the smooth and efficient movement of customers in and out of your premises by providing adequate lighting. Also, ensure there are no dark areas, low-hanging hazards or overgrown bushes that can impede the mobility of PWDs outside your building.
An inclusive business is a better business
When you consider everyone’s needs in your business, you’ll not only provide customers a comfortable and safe experience but also earn the goodwill of the public.
And when people trust you to take care of their needs, they’ll be more than happy to bring their business to you.