Tips for an accessible environment

If you have any further tips, or story please feel free to share them.

Never assume

A person with a visible disability can and can’t do things.

Ask, is there anything we can do to make your visit here a great experience?

Do you want to stay in your wheelchair, or transfer to a chair?

That the person who had just walked in does not have a invisible disability?

So tell everyone we are an inclusive space, if you have any requests or difficulties tell us and we do our best to accommodate them.

Always address your enquiring, or questions to the person,  not the people with them, even if they have limited communication this shows them you see and value them.

Background music

Some of your customers may be wearing hearing aids, have tinnitus or difficulty hearing voices,  loud background noise might impact on their enjoyment.

Furniture

Can it easily be moved to fit in a wheelchairs

Think about the heights of tables and chairs?  Low seating and high bar stools may difficult to get up from or up to if you have a mobility difficulty , arm rest may help,  but equally may get in the way or make the seat uncomfortable for plus size customers.

Also think about heights of till, bars welcome counter, you don’t need to change things,  just be sure your staff know what to do if someone can reach, see over or access things at height.

Language and signage

This is so important use positive language. 

Label toilets and parking as accessible not disabled ( the toilet and parking spaces does not have a disability) remember not all disabilities are visible.

Let people know you are breastfeeding friendly,  your staff have had dementia and autism friendly training.

Layout

Ensure entrances, exits and accessible toilets are clutter free.

If you have unaccessible spaces, ensure the accessible spaces are left for those that need them. For example if you have steps up to a section of your premises.

Think about the layout of accessible toilets, are they multiple purpose? Baby changing? Does the space work for all that need to us the space? Please make sure the space is not used for storage.

Useful good service tips

Light weight cups may help those with limited strength, or conditions like arthritis .

Plastic straws although environmentally unfriendly may help some people. A straw with a bend can mean the difference between independently having a drink or needing assistance to have a drink. (Paper straws don’t bend)

Menus offer them in larger print, Braille or simply offer to read them out. Consider having them in languages in common use in the town.

Table service could be offered where you might normally expect customers to come to the counter.

Queues consider seats for those that can’t stand in queues and a system to ensure they are seen in turn. 

Parking

Blue badge – Be respectful of others, don’t park in Blue badge spaces unless the person that needs it is in the car.

Parent and child spaces are there for those with young children and the space around the car is to allow space for doors to be fully opened to place children in their seats and to be easily accessible for prams, and push chairs. If you don’t need this parking spot for these reasons park somewhere else.