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

Queuing systems, waiting areas and seating

If customers may have to wait to receive a service, or to walk considerable distances within the premises, you should consider circulation space and whether it is possible to provide suitably designed seats for people with mobility impairments to sit and rest. In very small premises where there is not enough space to provide seating adjacent to queuing areas, it is important to make alternative provision for customers who cannot stand and wait. Any such arrangements should be made publicly known to avoid customers getting upset if they think other customers are queue jumping.

Practical suggestions:

  • Providing additional seating: a mixture of seating with and without armrests and at a range of heights is preferable.
  • Queuing systems: where some customers are standing and others are seated, can you provide a means of ensuring that seated customers do not lose their place in the queue?
  • Repositioning furniture in waiting areas: could furniture be arranged so that there is space for a wheelchair user to pull up alongside a seated companion?
  • Ensuring that announcement systems are both visible and audible so that they can be understood by customers with hearing and visual impairments.
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