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

Getting to goods and services

Shelves, display racks etc

Think about how your disabled customers access goods or information such as brochures and leaflets on shelves and display racks. If you are considering refitting with new units, it is worth seeking advice on dimensions for achieving the best accessibility and on layout (see Technical Advice). Even without major replanning of the fittings and fixtures, there are many simple things you might be able to do.

Practical suggestions:

  • Repositioning existing units: sometimes a free-standing shelf unit that is restricting access, for example very near a door, might be able to be moved to a location which improves access and circulation.
  • Adapting existing units: could you make simple changes to existing units to make access to them easier? Could you consider the heights of shelves etc for people using wheelchairs or with limited reach?
  • Arranging goods so that the same items are available at a range of heights: if you have a popular, high-volume selling range, then rather than putting them all on a very high or very low shelf, could you arrange the goods over a range of shelf heights?
  • Making product information easier to read: could labeling, prices and other important customer information be made larger and easier to read? 24 point size is recommended for shelf bar labels.
  • Using alternative methods of providing services: sometimes the barrier may be to a certain part of the premises – such as a flight of stairs to another level. In such cases, is it possible to relocate certain services, offer services at the entrance level or come up with an alternative? For example, a clothes shop where the changing rooms are upstairs might offer disabled customers the option of returning clothes, having tried them on at home “with no questions asked”.
  • Staff assistance: in situations where disabled customers cannot see or cannot reach goods or other items, could staff fetch goods for them and make sure that customers know that this service is available?
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