The main goal of every business owner is people through the door. Whether you’re providing a service or selling products customers through the door is what keeps you going and the more bums on seats the more potential for sales, so it’s all about getting those people through the door. What if that door is not accessible?

You could be excluding over 7 Million customers from your business in Australia.

Almost 20% of our population has a disability and more than 11% of our population is a carer for someone with a disability or assistance needs. Bottom line is, if they can’t access your business THEY WILL GO ELSEWHERE and chances are they’re going to you competitor. That’s not where it ends though. You may also be risking a Discrimination case.

How can you make your business more accessible?

For people with disabilities, access is so much more than just slapping a symbol on it and calling it accessible. It needs to be practical to be inviting. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 there is a list of requirements to ensure your business or agency is not discriminating against or excluding people with accessibility needs or disabilities. There are a number of fact sheets available to assist with learning what your responsibilities may be and what your rights are. You can find more information about them HERE.

The main aspects to consider are: 
Access to Premises – does your building comply to the Access to Premises Standards? Parking, Ramps, Doors, Toilets & Signage are just some of the things you need to consider.|
Website Accessibility – does your website meet accessibility requirements? Can people with visual impairments still use it?
Customer Service Training – are your staff aware of their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act? Have you trained them in appropriate ways to assist people with disabilities?
Advertising – is your method of advertising reaching all your target audience?

Accessibility can be an overwhelming aspect to navigate and potentially be expensive if not done right the first time. You can reduce your costs by engaging a reputable Access Consultant or ensuring your builder/developer is aware of the current Australian Standards of disability access. Engaging with your community is also an ideal and cost effective way of learning how to make your business more accessible. People with disabilities are often only too happy to tell you why they don’t use your business and it’s often because they just can’t get through the door.

This link below is also an excellent resource for businesses to learn about ways to make their business more accessible and inclusive:
http://ecouncil.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/TRIM7/documents/615174863/TRIM_MissedBusiness_BookletA5_Web_Final_1046012.PDF

 

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