One of the ways you can ensure you are meeting your obligations under the ‘Act’ is to have an access audit carried. There really are very good reasons for carrying out an access audit.
- It can help you meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010
- Improve your service provision for disabled customers
- In turn, increase your customer base and turnover
“But it’s ok we already do everything we need to!”
Are you really sure?
It is a common misconception of service providers to think that they are ‘complying’ with the Equality Act 2010. However, ‘compliance’ in this respect does not exist as the ‘Act’ is a rights based law. This means that different people have individual rights and needs and these same needs are met in different ways.
Therefore, the only way to make absolutely sure is to consult a suitably qualified disability access specialist.
If you don’t have an access audit carried out then the concept becomes like buying a house at auction without having a survey done. You leave yourself open to discovering later, lots of problems that you hadn’t first thought of. How many of you would do this?
So, why should you bother doing this? Or even bother making the adjustments necessary?
One of the most important business reasons is that Disabled people have an estimated disposable income of between £75 and £80 billion a year. Not really a small sum to be ‘sniffed at’ I’m sure you’ll agree. This means that to your company; particularly in these challenging times of financial crisis could be ignoring a potentially vital revenue stream which could prevent your company ‘going under’.
It is not only disabled people benefit who benefit from better access. What about your customers with young children who use pushchairs or older people who would really appreciate you making some minor changes?
“But surely these changes cost the earth?”
Well, not really. It is all about you being able to provide a service to a wider and more diverse customer base and many changes cost little or nothing to implement.
After all, in the long run, any changes you do make will almost certainly be a healthy investment in your business. They should open up your services or products to many new potential customers. This in turn will lead to you having a healthier ‘bottom line’.