Accessible Services, Making it Happen
When I was growing up I never thought twice about pushing the last few minutes at home before dashing out, running down the hill for the bus and racing up to he back of the bus where the older ones sat. I never thought twice about going through doorways, using public toilets, browsing the narrow aisles of clothing and taking a heap of clothes into the changing rooms for a quick modelling before meeting up with friends for a quick coffee before home.
It’s easy not to see some common obstacles to some people when they’re not obstacles to us, three steps up is a quick jump when your running, a wheel chair user requires a ramp, someone with a new hip replacement may prefer a ramp to keep a steady step or someone with co ordination difficulties.
Door frames that are a little too narrow for a wheel chair or pram to get through, do you think the wheel chair user wants to scrape the arms of their chair and your paintwork? There are so many ways that you can support inclusion within your service for both your employees and your customers. If you’re not sure then ask the people who would be using them.
Electronic doors, large signs not heavy with text, accessible toilets, helpful support from staff, ramps and hand rails, put a lift in or repair broken lifts, everything makes a difference including positive speech within customer services. There are so many things you can do to eliminate exclusion because when a section of your custom is excluded they don’t’ come to you and invest their money with you. You are missing out on a healthy chunk of multi millions of pounds spent in the UK by people with disabilities. Not only that but some adaptions you may get some funding support with that could help you get started.
Accessible services accessed by all.
There are many pre conceptions about what a ‘disabled person’ looks like. IF you can see signs of a disability then yes there are people who are partially sighted, hearing impaired, wheelchair users, people who’ve previously had a stroke
But there are hidden disabilities such as;
- Depression and other mental ill health diagnoses
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Cystic fibrosis
- Learning disabilities
Just to name a few. Now whilst we can not always evolve our services over night to accommodate changes and needs, we can make a start and some small adaptions can help many people gain access. Millions of people in the UK live with a disability. Many live with an undiagnosed disability so we know that the number is much higher than statistic given.
Many of us are in someway connected to a disability either our own or to someone else who lives with one. Inclusion creates a sense of community, inclusion creates so much joy for people and inclusion creates a lot of benefit for you from a business perspective.