Store Accessibility Information

Shopping with a disability is difficult any day of the week.  But more so at Christmas, shopping at this time of year can be more traumatic, stressful and down right scary!  Dealing with crowds, hurried sales assistance, extra stock on shop floor, loud music and yes, people literally jumping over you, are just some of things we can look forward to, so please, understand why it is so important to supply information to your customers about store accessibility?  By not supplying the necessary information on your website, you are not Equality Act 2010 compliant and customers are going to shop elsewhere.  Retailers that ARE supplying this information are going to get your potential customers, making your company's competition much stronger!

 

Recently, I picked 16 random retailers and viewed their websites to see if any of them had taken any extra steps to aid disabled people in their shopping experience this Christmas.  Not one retailer had put any extra measures in place.  Even more shocking, only two of these retailers had any accessibility information at all!!  Well done to Marks & Spencer and Next who both use AccessAble.  (The new name for DisabledGo).  Unfortunately, that leaves 14 other retailers that I researched that have no information whatsoever!  I have contacted each of them and now awaiting their reply.  So far, one company have already replied, Debenhams, whose reply was polite and thankful to me for bringing this to their attention but it also felt non committal.  I was hoping for a yes, we will update our website to include the necessary information.

 

It is such a shame retailers do not supply such important information to aid not just disabled people but anyone needing to plan their journey and have the pre knowledge of what shops, café’s and restaurants they can visit or not visit.  Retailers seem to forget, by omitting this kind of information, customer who then visit your business and have a negative experience, are going to tell friends & family and/or talk about it on social media.  Still say all publicity is good publicity??

 

All it takes, is to add some information onto your company website.  Yes, it is that simple!!

 

So what information would we like to see on your website regarding your store/cafe/restaurant accessibility?

 

  • Is your premises level entry?
  • Do you have ramped access or a wheelchair lift?
  • Are there any steps inside your shop (split level)?
  • Are there any disabled changing rooms, (are they free from stock)?
  • Do you have lowered counters?
  • Do you have an Induction Loop facility?
  • Are your staff disability aware trained?
  • Do you offer a "quiet hour" shopping?
  • Are there any disabled toilets/changing places available?
  • Are your signs suitable for blind & partially sighted people?
  • Do you offer menu's in large print or braille?
  • What is the height of your tables, not all wheelchairs can fit under standard height tables?

 

This is just some of the information that you should be supplying on your website.  You want customers to spend their money with you, by supplying this information, you are showing that you are thinking about each and every one of your potential customers and that is what's going to make customers pick your business!!

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