2. Going the 'extra mile'
A misconception of being inclusive is that you need to go the extra mile (this is something I will revisit regularly). Quite often, a solution for people with additional needs will be appropriate for anyone. It may even make the process easier for everyone involved. I realise this is a difficult concept to take out of context, so to the left is a beautifully illustrated example!
3. Wheelchair Accessible Taxis
It's late, you stumble out of the train station (perhaps after a few drinks!) and you see the taxi rank up ahead. The first taxi in the queue is an accessible cab, you jump in, thinking nothing of it, it's just a cab, right?
Accessible cabs are few and far between; once I tried to book on behalf of someone and was informed that the next available bookable accessible cab was in 16 hours time. If you have the option, leave the accessible cabs to those who require them. Imagine how difficult it would be to be refused such a basic thing that most take for granted, it not only causes frustration but also can ruin plans.
4. Accessible bathrooms
An obvious one, but important to mention. It might be tempting to just run into the accessible toilet when you are out in public, especially if there is a long queue for the bathroom, but please be mindful that someone may come along who needs to use this bathroom who does not have the option to wait or use the standard public facilities.
5. Let’s talk ramps
Imagine if your friends have arranged a big night out together, you’d spent hours getting ready and were excited for a fun evening. You arrive at the venue but there is no way of getting into the building, your night has been ruined by this obstacle which has an easy solution (had it been considered beforehand!).
If you own a business which requires visitors or employees to come in and out of the building, it is essential that it is accessible, or have things put in place to ensure that the building is as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.
Unless it is very old, your building is likely to adhere to building accessibility regulations. However, ticking the boxes for this does not necessarily mean your establishment is accessible.
Step free access to the building is so crucial. Not only will you lose custom to those who cannot enter, you may lose business from family and friends of people with limited mobility through word of mouth. Aside from the fact that you may lose business, it is also important to consider that the individual who cannot gain access is now disabled by their environment.
If the building does not have a ramp, a final (much less ideal) alternative would be investing in a portable ramp. Ramps can admittedly be pricey, but remember that it is an investment and you will be building your business up by allowing the maximum amount of people in. It is of mutual benefit. Lastly, while it is important to have a ramp, it is also important to offer stepped access as some individuals will struggle with walking up the incline of a ramp.
and that concludes my very first Inclusify blog post! How did I do?!
If you have any questions about how to be more inclusive in your day to day life, or would like to make any suggestions (I welcome any feedback!) Please don't hesitate to get in touch through the contact section of my website.