Good accessibility might seem daunting if you’ve not considered it before or maybe you are just wondering how you can improve things further. Well here’s five simple things you can try.
1 Have an Accessibility Statement
An accessibility statement goes a long way to letting people know that you have considered accessibility and respect the rights of disabled people. Knowing what accommodations are available in advance lets visitors know what to expect and plan accordingly, or even give them the confidence that they can access you at all. It doesn’t take long to do, and has a big impact.
If you aren’t sure how to go about writing an accessibility statement you can take the Access:Check Skillshare class How to Write an Accessibility Statement.
2 Level Access
Level access to your building is crucial for getting people in and not excluding disabled people. It doesn’t have to be a big remodel either – you may find that there are things you can do yourself, such as building a sturdy ramp out of plywood or some simple landscaping. If you aren’t up for the DIY method then there are plenty of companies out there that offer ramp installation. Even easier is buying a portable or movable ramp that you can put down at opening hours and take up when you lock up at night. If you are only hosting a short term event, then hiring a ramp is possible and will make sure your guests can access you. Don’t forget that if you do use a removable ramp to make it easy for your visitors to request it.
3 Be Deaf Aware
Take some time to train your staff on deaf awareness. Whilst it would be great if we could all use sign language (though not all deaf people use sign themselves) that doesn’t mean we can’t be more accommodating of d/Deaf people and those with hearing impairments. Learning good etiquette and practice for communicating with d/Deaf people is inclusive and helpful for everybody. Take a look at The British Deaf Association’s Beginner’s Guide for more advice and information. The group Hands on Ears also produces great posters to help people remember how to be d/Deaf aware: these can also be great to have up in workplaces if you have d/Deaf or hard of hearing staff which can be helpful guidance for visitors and customers.
4 Be accessibility positive
The mantra here at Access:Check is
It’s not about making it easier for disabled people, it’s about making it no difficult that for everybody else.
Whenever you are thinking about implementing changes in your workplace, booking venues, or implementing policy, keep accessibility in mind. Make sure that you consider the changes from the point of view of being accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their health, disability or lack of disability. By being accessibility positive and thinking about accessibility earlier on, you can make your own job easier and your business a welcome place for all people.