Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

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8 Simple Ways to Better Serve Customers with Disabilities During the Holiday Shopping Rush

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by Glenda at 7:50 pm on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Accessibility 100 post

Tis the season for crowded stores, bustling customers and ringing cash registers! To better serve and assist your customers with disabilities during this busy shopping season, here are eight simple tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep sidewalks, curbcuts and ramps clear. Even a bit of snow can impede customers using wheelchairs, walkers and crutches.
  2. Enforce your store’s disabled parking spaces. When able-bodied customers park in one of these spaces “to run in for only a few minutes”, those spaces are not available to customers who need it in order to enter your business.
  3. Minimize extra products and displays in aisles. Cluttered aisles make navigating difficult for customers using wheelchairs, walkers and service dogs.
  4. Clean and maintain wheelchair washrooms. An “Out of Order” sign on the only wheelchair stall is definitely cause for panic!
  5. Keep paper and pens handy at the cash registers and services counters. These may be useful when communicating with customers who have hearing or speech impairments.
  6. Review 10 Tips for Communicating with People with Disabilities.
  7. Decorated Christmas trees in shopping mallProvide some seating for the weary shopper. Elderly customers and those with invisible health conditions are unable to walk long distances and must take short breaks.
  8. Take an extra dose of patience in the morning. A  cheerful smile and extra patience can go a long way in easing stressful situations during this joyous season

Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

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