Disability Discrimination Act – Access To Goods And Services

Making Access to Goods and Services Easier for Disabled Customers: A Practical Guide for Small Businesses and Other Service Providers

Approaching the premises

Think about how customers with different types of disabilities will be able to get to your premises. Routes which are easy to negotiate by customers using sticks, crutches and wheelchairs are also likely to present fewer obstacles to customers with visual impairments, as well as making it easier for customers pushing children in pushchairs, carrying heavy shopping or with shopping trolleys.

Practical suggestions:

  • Better lighting: could external lighting be improved to help people find their way to your premises?
  • Car parking: if you have a car parking area for customers, could there be better provision for disabled customers to manoeuvre a wheelchair in and out of a car? (This requires a wider parking bay than standard). Can you find a way to ensure that drivers who are not disabled do not occupy bays intended for disabled customers? If there is usually no parking provision for customers but you have staff car parking spaces, could you arrange for these to be made available for disabled customers by prior arrangement?
  • Paths and other routes: could routes, path surfaces or the frontage to your premises be improved to make them more even, less slippery and free of obstacles? Some common problems are:
    • cracked or uneven paving slabs
    • rough surfaces or sudden changes in level
    • positioning of things like litter bins and free-standing advertising boards
    • protruding or overhanging objects, grass or other vegetation which might present a danger
    • ice or mossy growth that might make surfaces slippery.
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