Steps to Make Your Business More Accessible
Making your business accessible is a duty that you have as a responsible business owner. If you don’t take the right steps to make it accessible, you could be breaking the law. There are many ways you can create a more accessible business, which is welcoming to anyone who uses a wheelchair, has a service dog, is deaf or blind or has any other needs. Here are some of the things that you can do to make your business accessible.
Make Entrances Accessible
People need to be able to get into your business first. One of the biggest barriers to this can be steps, which can be difficult for people in wheelchairs or with disabilities affecting their mobility. By removing steps or adding a ramp, you can make an entrance more accessible. Another thing to consider is whether there is a raised threshold. This can sometimes make it more difficult to enter, and could be a tripping hazard.
Keep Things Clear
Too much clutter can mean that your business isn’t accessible. It’s important to keep aisles in stores clear and to ensure everything stays tidy. Consider wheelchair users or anyone else who might need more space to get through, including people with service dogs. You can also help people to find their way by ensuring there is adequate lighting, although you might want to avoid making it too bright.
Install Lifts and Escalators
Getting to upper floors can be impossible for some people if there is no lift or escalator as an alternative to the stairs. Using a company such as Lift Works to install a quality lift will make your business more accessible for all. There are different types of lifts available, and they can also be useful for smaller sets of steps that might not require the installation of a large passenger lift.
Welcome Service Dogs
Service dogs can help people in a number of ways and might provide assistance to blind people, deaf people and others. Rather than simply being accepting of service dogs, which you need to do by law, you can make an extra effort to be welcoming to them. You might make sure there is space for them, put out water for them and even provide a “rest area” where they can relieve themselves.
Make Use of Technology
The use of technology in your business can make it more accessible. For example, some businesses offer a loop system so that people with hearing aids are able to tune into their sound system. Technology could also be useful for blind people, providing audio to help them independently navigate around your business.
Train Your Staff
Staff training is one of the most important things you can do to make your business more accessible. Your staff should know how to communicate with people with disabilities in a sensitive way. They can learn things such as how to guide a blind person or how to speak to a deaf person, and they can also learn what not to do.
A more accessible business is welcoming to everyone, which helps to improve your business reputation and image.
Categories: Outside Contributors