Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have an Access Audit carried out and bring customers in

"There is so much to do here to make the building accessible that we can't afford it!"  "We are on rhe first floor so we can't get disabled people in here"
Both these statements are wrong. Both are said be people who are either mis-guided or don't want the trouble that they imagine disabled people would be. And when you speak about disabled people most think of just wheelchair users.Wheelchair users make up a tiny number. Many have impairments you wouldn't even know about. Look around you now. How many people can you see who have a heart condition, bad ashma, can't walk far or up steps, have poor eyesight or can't hear very well. The list goes on. A bit like an iceberg. We only see the tip.
So you should be thinking about an access audit if you haven't done so already. It's not too late.
Up til now most cases that have been brought against businesses in relation to disability discrimination have been settled out of court and so you don't know about them but it is happening. I think that this is going to change. On the whole disabled people have been patient and understanding. Well! In many cases they don't know their rights and often they don't feel they can make a difference.
An access audit is completed with a report laying out the steps you need to take to make your business accessible to all. Many are written by surveyors and architects and give exact specifications and are couched in technical terms. This is great if being read by some-one with the knowledge. But often the facilities manager or person responsible doesn't undestand and just passes the list onto a builder. When the work is complete they have to rely on the builder that the work is technically correct.
Mike Leahy writes script reports in layman's language that are easily understood and include the reason for the adjustment too. He takes a pragmatic apprioach and often knows of a quick fix or low cost adjustment. He'll also grade recommendations so you can deal with the priorities first and perhaps leave the "best practice" items til last.
If you haven't assessed what is necessary or taken any action do so now. It will ensure you comply with the legisltaion but equally important will broaden your customer base.

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