Under the Equality Act, small and medium-sized businesses have to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so they do not discriminate against disabled customers. This module will help business owners identify ways they can make their premises more accessible, improving the customers experience and customer service.
Before booking a reservation at a restaurant or booking accommodation, people with disabilities and their family members will consider whether this business is suitable to their needs.
By providing valuable information with regard to your accessibility, you are showing potential customers that your business aims to serve the needs of those with disabilities and provide them with a quality service.
How To Make Your Business Accessible
Carry out an access audit of the business that is accessible to the general public, this has proven to be very valuable for customers to make an informed decision.
Provide accessibility features of the business that can be viewed on your website. Sent directly to customer via email or text.
Staff members who are trained to assist customers with various disabilities. The 16 module disability etiquette section covers this in great detail.
Why Your Business Needs An Access Statement
Can you imagine the frustration when a customer with disabilities can’t access the information they need easily in this digital age?
They search your website to see what facilities you offer that will meet their personal needs and no information is readily available, so they have to phone or email the business, or they simply continue their search and find another business.
Twenty per cent of the populations daily lives are impacted by a disability which is a staggering number and they really appreciate that businesses help by providing useful information on how accessible their premises are if they were to visit.
Things to consider in what to include in your access statement which can then be predominantly placed on your website, made into a PDF or word document which can be downloaded by the potential customer or sent by email.
How To Make An Access Statement For Disability Access To Your Business
An access statement is a document that provides information about the accessibility of a building or facility, such as a hotel, for people with disabilities. It should include information about the building’s physical accessibility, as well as any services or facilities provided for people with disabilities.
An access statement should be written in an easy to understand language and should be available in alternative formats upon request. It should provide clear and detailed information about the accessibility of the hotel and help guests with disabilities plan their visit and make informed decisions about choosing a place to stay.
Here are some steps that can be followed to create an access statement for disability access to any business within the hospitality sector.
Conduct a thorough assessment of the hotel’s facilities, including guest rooms, public areas, and parking facilities, to identify any barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities.
Gather information about the hotel’s facilities, services, and policies that are relevant to people with disabilities. This can include information about parking, entrances, lifts, accessible rooms, and any other facilities or services provided for people with disabilities.
Describe the accessibility features of the hotel, including any ramps, lifts, and accessible toilets, as well as any other facilities or services provided for people with disabilities.
Include contact information for the hotel, such as a phone number or email address, so that people with disabilities can contact the hotel to ask any questions or make any special arrangements.
Be honest and transparent about the hotel’s accessibility and the limitations of the facilities. If there are any accessibility issues, describe them clearly and provide information on the alternative solutions available.
Review and update the access statement regularly to make sure that the information is current and accurate.
Make the access statement available on the hotel’s website, or in printed form at the hotel’s reception or by request.
Train staff on the hotel’s accessibility features, policies and procedures and on how to assist guests with disabilities and make any necessary accommodations
The Exterior Of The Premises
Say what type of surface a customer will meet upon arrival.
Parking is very important to some customers with disabilities so tell them what you provide.
Disabled parking bays
Accessible parking close to entrance
Parking at the front or rear of property
Distance from carpark to property entrance
Drop off point
If the guest has to use a pathway before entering your premises tell them what it is constructed of.
Explain what exterior lighting you may have that may be beneficial.
Car park Illuminated
Front entrance Illuminated
Outside seating areas
If your business is fortunate to have outdoor gardens let them know.
Are the gardens pathed so wheelchair users can enjoy and what is the path constructed of.
Does it have seating areas so guests can take a rest if necessary.
If you have an outdoor dining area or beer garden.
Explain what the patio surface is.
Type of seating
If it has quiet areas
How accessible it is for guests with regard to mobility
The Interior Of The Premises
Is the entry into the premises level, has steps, or ramped.
If the guests has to encounter steps is there a temporary ramp available.
Explain what the door entrance is like for example automatic door, revolving door, opens inwards or opens outwards.
Has a bell at an accessible height to request assistance.
Explain if you have a reception area which is supervised by a member of staff.
If it has seating for guests to sit on if required whilst waiting assistance.
What facilities you have available for guests with hearing or impaired vision when checking in.
What type of flooring is in the reception area.
Is their clear signage
Type of flooring
Internal door ways
Type of lighting
Provide information regarding stairs:
To include how many levels of stairs there are to the upper level of building that is accessible to guests. Useful information to include how many stair risers and hand rails.
Does the business have a lift and is it suitable for wheelchair access.
Explain what a guest will find in the public areas of the premises.
Type of seating
Ramps and steps
Describe the types of accommodation available and location within the building.
Number of disabled rooms
Large Print Guest Information (Impaired Vision)
Flat Screen TV with subtitles (Impaired Hearing)
Furniture within room
Any possible trip hazards
Explain in detail the washing facilities available in the room accommodation.
Walk in showers (suitable for wheel chairs or not)
Bath with shower
Type of flooring
If breakfast is served in a different room to the restaurant (evening meal) then detail both areas.
Types of flooring
Ramps and steps
Types of seating and tables
Self service or assisted service
Nearest access to toilets
Describe what is available within the area.
Seating and tables
Ramps and steps
Quiet areas and type of lighting
Large screen TV with sub titles