As a business owner, you might have taken many steps to increase visibility, including reaching out to numerous people. But does that include people with disabilities? If not, then you are missing out on a large chunk of potential customers. In the US alone, 26% of adults have some form of disability. That amounts to approximately 61 million people.
The value of your product or service is enhanced by the customer service experience. If you are ready to take steps to bring in necessary changes, it will foster a sense of inclusion and give a boost to your revenue. So take a look at these ten easy ways to make any business disability-friendly.
1. Create an accessible office space
First and foremost, you must aim towards making the office space as welcoming as possible for all people. Simple changes such as installing automatic doors and ramps go a long way. You can also keep designated parking spaces and staff ready to offer help if needed.
Your company can also have access to printable material for those who are visually challenged. The work areas, lobbies, escalators, and cafeteria should also be spacious and free of any obstacles for people on wheelchairs or scooters.
2. Actively employ disabled
Hiring disabled people opens up opportunities to have a great team on board. It also improves corporate reputation, removes discrimination, and gives decision-makers a fresh opinion on their products or services.
Ensure you include people with disabilities in your marketing. Use their feedback to improve the website by making it more accessible. This will, in turn, help your enterprise to reach out to an extensive customer base.
3. Service principles
Decide on service principles that your team members can follow to have an independent and dignified experience. Making tiny changes like taking feedback from disabled employees, avoiding asking personal questions regarding the disability, being polite when offering assistance, or being patient if a person needs extra time are essential.
4. Allow remote work
In addition to making the physical office space accessible, you can also allow a disabled employee to opt for remote work when needed. Be flexible in your approach and offer partial-to-complete work from home options.
5. Sensitivity training for employees
Training your existing employees regarding people with disabilities and how their behaviour can affect others is a crucial step. You must educate staff to interact appropriately with their colleagues or customers.
They have to be sensitized to be polite when offering help and stick around till the offer is accepted or rejected. Also, the staff must not over-service and take control away from a disabled person. And if they are hurt in any way, be quick to seek an apology and move on.
6. Ensure the washroom is accessible
Ensure that anyone visiting can access the bathroom with ease. You can hire a professional for office design who can install accessible stalls in the ladies’ and men’s rooms. Or put in a separate washroom for people on wheelchairs or scooters. The doors and the stalls must be wide enough with grab bars. Additionally, the sink, paper towels, and hand dryers have to be placed at a reachable height. You can also provide more space by having the door swing out instead of in.
7. Make websites more accessible
The company website offers an opportunity for a customer to access your site without having to physically travel. Make sure that your website and blog are fully accessible and use technologies to make them better. You can include audio, video, and fun infographics to make the website easier to surf. You can do this by hiring digital marketing experts like ResolutB2B to get the best results.
8. Offer solutions tailor-made for them
The needs of a person with disabilities might be different from those of others. You cannot simply provide a solution that fits all. In an ideal situation, you would take note of what a customer wants. Then your team can create a custom solution.
9. Add Alternative Text to Images
You can add Alternative Text or Alt-Text to images for better understanding. This can be used by people who opt for screen readers to access the website. Alt text is the text that appears instead of text and can help your customers understand images better.
10. Include subtitles to videos
Adding subtitles to videos will help people access the videos and understand the content. It fulfils a similar purpose as that of Alt-Text. Alternatively, you can give the text in braille in advance to the selected customer base.