Learn how your business can attract more customers by providing better access for everyone.
How your business can benefit from better access
With 20% of people in WA living with a disability, you can expect many of your customers to have some form of disability. Currently, 1 in 3 people with a disability report that their customer needs are often unmet.
This page provides businesses with guidance on becoming more accessible to everyone. The more businesses do to ensure their customers have a pleasant experience, the more likely the customers will return.
How everyone benefits from better access
Parents with young children, seniors and people from non-English speaking backgrounds may all potentially benefit from minor improvements to access and inclusion. It is about everyone being able to participate fully in community life.
Even by making small changes, your business will help to make a difference.
What your business can do to help
Inside – consider
- Install easy-to-open doors that are wide enough for wheelchairs and prams
- Ensure counters and information are within reach of a person using a wheelchair
- Create plenty of aisle space for wheelchairs and prams to manoeuvre easily
- Use surface finishes that are slip-resistant, evenly laid and free of hazards
- Maintain accessible toilets with enough room for wheelchair users to manoeuvre, i.e. ensure bins, change tables and cleaning supplies do not inhibit movement
- Install baby change tables and/or an adult changing places facility.
Outside – consider
- Create clearly marked and signed ACROD bays
- Ensure a continuous accessible path of travel from the parking area to your business
- Install ramps and handrails
- Put colour contrast strips on steps
- Ensure paths are clear of bulky signage, furniture and bins
- Report any public access issues to the Shire.
- Speak naturally and clearly while facing the customer
- Rotate a computer screen or till towards the customer if they are having difficulty understanding you
- If required, use a pen and paper to write questions and answers.
- Provide clear signage, labels, business cards and general information in Arial or Helvetica 12 point font
- Use sentence case rather than UPPER CASE
- Ensure websites meet accessibility guidelines
- Make commonly requested information available in large print (18 point font), i.e. menus, advertising or tourist information
- Design advertising with high contrast between the font and background
- Encourage dog owners not to tether their pets at premise entry points.
- Design your website with alternative language options
- Consider translating advertising or tourist information into the most common non-English languages in your area
- Consider providing pictures on menus and clothing/shoe sizing conversion charts.
- Train staff in understanding dementia, the potential signs and how to effectively communicate
- Keep questions simple and short. Be patient and understanding. Smile
- Reduce background noise and other distractions
- Ensure signage only features concise and essential information, i.e., large graphics, fixed at eye level, and an easy-to-read background colour contrast
- Install wayfinding signage for facilities, including exit signs
- Use standard graphics such as universal symbols for toilets
- Ensure tapware is familiar, intuitive and easy to use
- Make sure there are no areas of deep shadow or glaring light
- Ensure your flooring and carpet design don’t disorientate anyone with a visual or cognitive impairment.
The benefits to your business
- The experience of many satisfied employers is that employees with disability are more reliable, more affordable, just as productive and good for business
- Employing people with disability builds morale, loyalty and goodwill among staff, customers and the community by positively reflecting diversity.
Contact a Disability Employment Service (DES) Provider
- DES providers are a free service to employers. They can promote vacancies, as well as provide recruitment support, on-site training and ongoing workplace support
- Ask about the financial assistance available, i.e. the Employment Assistance Fund, wage subsidies, supported wage scheme, wage support for apprenticeships/traineeships and insurance, and work health and safety financial coverage
- Find out more by visiting Job Access.
Tips for everyone
- Treat all customers with dignity and respect
- Respect everybody’s right to be independent. Ask first if they require assistance
- Remember that all disabilities are not always easy to recognize and require you to be understanding and accepting
- Consider training in customer service with a focus on assisting people with varying needs
- If the customer is with a carer, always direct the conversation towards the customer with a disability (unless advised otherwise)
- Become a Companion Card affiliate business
- Consider alternative ways for people to find out about your business, such as social media, websites, phone or email
- Don’t expect a person with a disability to fit your service, be flexible with the service to suit the needs of the individual.