For disabled people, getting out and about can be a challenge; before you can arrange to meet friends in a bar or restaurant you first have to check whether the restaurant is accessible. Before you can book tickets for the theatre, you need to check that there’s enough space for your wheelchair. Before you can go shopping, you need to find out whether you’ll be able to get into and around the shops you want to buy from, and before you can travel anywhere you need to check access arrangements at train stations and on buses – the list is practically endless.
For business owners, it is naturally in your best interests to make sure that your business is accessible to all your customers. Although regulations require businesses to make reasonable adjustments for disabled access, if you only offer the bare minimum of access many disabled customers will still find access to be a struggle or to be inconvenient – and may well choose to go to a competitor who offers better facilities. After all, given the choice between a restaurant which has a self-operated platform lift beside the entrance steps and one which has a sign above the steps saying “Ask inside for access”, it’s obvious which is the more attractive and convenient choice.
Investing in your access arrangements can go a long way towards cementing your reputation with your customers, demonstrating that you have their interests at heart.
It is not only in your interest to have good disabled access facilities in place, but also to advertise them to your customers. A sign in your window advertising full disabled access throughout your establishment; full accessibility details on your website – with measurements, to assist those in powerchairs or larger wheelchairs – these can all help your customers to recognise that your establishment is going the extra mile to allow access.
The internet is increasingly an important factor in this – we reported some months ago on the launch of disability access review site Euan’s Guide, which currently has around a thousand places and venues listed; around 400 listed by the venues themselves, and a further 600 listed and reviewed by disabled people to help others to easily find out the exact arrangements in place. As it’s a free site, with a growing user base, it’s well worth listing your business venue on the site as an extra way to inform your customers of the access arrangements you have in place. Once you begin getting reviews, it’s also something that you would be able to monitor in order to provide further improvements – again, not only improving your access facilities but also your reputation with your customers.
If you’re looking to invest in your disabled access arrangements, here at Axess 2 we have a range of versatile and flexible passenger lifts and other solutions which can help you to make access through your property easy and hassle-free. For more information, or to talk to us about your requirements, contact us on 01200 405 005 today.