Accessible Businesses

Is your business accessible? You could be missing out on potential customers

People with a disability, their families and friends consider how easy it is to access a place when choosing where to shop and socialise. These people could be your customers.

Making your business more accessible makes it safer for all customers and staff. This helps you meet your public liability and workplace safety responsibilities.

Improving access to your business will also help you meet your legal responsibilities. Australian law says that customers with disability should be able to access your goods or services just like any other customer. If a customer with disability cannot do this they could make a complaint of discrimination under the Victorian Anti-Discrimination Act or Federal Disability Discrimination Act.

There are also local laws regarding the use of footpaths for trading. Keeping the footpath and entrance to your business clear of obstacles helps you meet these requirements and is more welcoming to all customers.

What is a disability?

A disability can be any physical, sensory, intellectual, cognitive or psychiatric impairment that affects a person’s ability to undertake everyday activities. A disability can occur at any time in life. People can be born with a disability or acquire a disability through an accident or illness. Some forms of disability are temporary; others are episodic which means that they are better on some days and worse on others. Some disabilities may be obvious to other people, while other disabilities are ‘hidden’.

Providing good access to your business will benefit:

  • those who have difficulties moving and may use a wheelchair, electric scooter, walking frame or crutches
  • are blind or deaf or have some trouble seeing or hearing
  • have difficulties reaching and holding things
  • find it hard to speak, understand, or need to rest often due to illness or injury, or
  • all customers, particularly if they have young children, prams, heavy bags or shopping jeeps
  • older people

Alpine Shire Council worked with 11 other councils and health organisations to develop the Good Access = Good Business Guide and a Checklist to help local businesses understand how they can improve access.

> Access your online version Good Access = Good Business Guide
> Access your online version Good Access = Good Business Checklist

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