5 ways to make your business accessible

December 5, 2013 - Tags: Employers Customers

Have you thought of whether or not your business is accessible to persons with disabilities? With one in seven Ontarians living with a disability, it makes economic and social sense to address accessibility issues within your business.

From providing accessible customer service to hiring people with disabilities, different disabilities could mean different needs. In honour of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, here are a few tips to help make your business inclusive and accessible.

Make the space accessible
Accessibility in a physical environment goes beyond doorways and ramps. Allow service animals and support persons to accompany customers into your business. You can also accommodate for people with wheelchairs, crutches and scooters with accessible desks, counters and clutter-free aisles.

Make your website accessible
The easier it is to access your website, the easier it will be for potential customers to do business with you. Create an accessible website by making text, images, sounds and structure accessible to those with disabilities.

Train employees
Some disabilities may be easier to recognize than others and training your employees to understand how to meet the needs of people with disabilities could create a lasting customer relationship. Train employees to identify and understand different disabilities and respond to individual needs.

Keep learning
As a business owner, reaching out to new customers or building better relationships with existing customers can be one way to improve your business. Find out if the Accessibility Standard for Customer Service applies to your business and put it in to practice.

Get the word out
Once you have made your business accessible remember to let people know about it. Put up signs so that people know about the accessible services you provide. You may include signs such as the international symbol of accessibility and TTY (for the deaf and hard of hearing).

Making your business accessible for your employees and customers is about supporting independence and giving respect. It may also allow you to expand your hiring pool and your customer reach. Take the time to make your business an inclusive business.

For more information on accessibility, browse through our Accessibility section and read our previous blog: How accessible is your Ontario business?

Date modified: