As part of the Equality Act 2010, it is a legal requirement to make reasonable adjustments that avoid any persons having a disadvantage. In short, every business must make sure that their premises and services are accessible to all, especially if you work in the public sector.
Therefore, if you are committed to making your business more accessible, here are 10 simple ways you can do so.
- Allow easy access for humans and guide dogs
This includes ramps, automatic doors, or stairlifts. Remember that these features must be big enough and easy to navigate for large electric wheelchairs, families with a pushchair, and people with their guide dogs or support animals.
- Keep aisles and pathways clear of obstacles
Whether you are less abled or not, obstacles in aisles and pathways of your business can become a tripping hazard.
- Make signs visible and readable
For those who have low vision, make sure that text is appropriately sized on any signage. Simple sans-serif fonts are also easier to read from afar.
- Have accessible print materials
In addition to written text and signage, it is essential to have Braille on any print materials to help customers who are blind.
- Use closed captioning
If you use any TV sets or video promotional material, ensure that you include (and turn on!) closed captioning. This helps customers who are hard of hearing to follow along with the programme or the message you are distributing.
- Install a properly equipped bathroom
Bathrooms must be big enough for a large wheelchair to complete a comfortable turning circle. The doors must also be wide enough for people in manual wheelchairs to enter without banging their elbows on the frame.
Inside the bathroom, make sure that you install the necessary equipment for all accessibility needs. This includes moveable supports to help people get seated on the toilet, and the installation of a disabled WC alarm call system.
- Provide a hearing loop system
Hearing induction loop systems help people with hearing loss of deafness by increasing the clarity of amplified sound. They work in conjunction with a person’s own hearing aid. Hearing loops are essential to any building, as set out in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
- Include alternate text on photos posted to your website or social media
Alternate text describes the content of images, graphs, and charts. For the blind and visually impaired, this allows their ‘read aloud’ function to accurately portray the contents of the image which has been posted to your website or social media.
- Also include audio description
Another way to make sure that your media is accessible is to include audio description. In a similar vein to alternate text, audio description allows the blind or visually impaired to enjoy your video content.
- Incorporate an assistance button into your entry system
And finally, incorporate an assistance button into your entry system. As the first thing users of your business will see when they enter the building, it shows that you are committed to helping them have a great experience before they have even gone through the door.
Now you are equipped with these 10 ways to make your business accessible, you will be able to make simple changes that allow your company to be enjoyed by all.
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