The unknown is the main thing that may stop customers with a disability from visiting your business. Going out takes a lot of planning, and if a customer is not a 100% sure that they are definitely going to be able to gain access to your business then chances are they will look for someplace that they do know is accessible, they’ll usually visit places that they are familiar with. Information needs to be easily attainable so that potential customers do not have to research into different places for hours and hours.
We all like little day trips to unknown locations and visiting someplace we’ve never been before. However, for people with a disability it can take a lot more planning to even just go to a restaurant in their hometown.
Imagine being invited out for a friend’s birthday meal, you get all dolled up, get your wheelchair securely clamped into the car, drive there, park the car, get unclamped from the car, go up to the door, and there’s a step. It’s too late to find a new restaurant so you just head home and celebrate with your friend another day. Unfortunately, due to the lack of accessible information, this happens more times than you’d hope it would. So, what accessible information is best in order to make your business more inclusive to all?
Virtual experiences are a great tool to allow potential customers to walkthrough your business from the comfort of their own home. It allows them to see for themselves what facilities are available and make an informed decision whether they are able to visit or not. It is a great way to put your customers worries at ease so that they can fully enjoy their time with you. You can also provide as much built in information as possible within your virtual experience, including but not limited to, width of doors, height of counters or tables, turning space measurements of certain floor areas and a full layout of the business’s premises.
You can also have this information available separate to your virtual experience in the form of an access guide. This can be produced in any format you see fit for your business and is a great tool to have all your accessible information in one place. The information provided within the access guide is very similar to the information within the virtual experience however it provides your accessibility details in much more depth about services you provide and measurements of areas of your establishment. Also, instead of being interactive like the virtual experience, it would contain static images only illuminating certain areas of your business. Therefore, the only way that your customers will know if your business is accessible or not is if you provide as much information as possible about everything that is available. You can also provide contact details for a dedicated individual or team of staff members that are able to assist a customer with any accessible enquires that your information does not cover.