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Five step guide to make your organisation accessible and inclusive for everyone

More and more staff at OHAC are being asked what is the best way to make my organisation accessible for people with disabilities and what are the key areas that need to be addressed.

Firstly we let them know that it’s not just people with disabilities who will benefit from good accessibility. There are a large number of other people who would directly or indirectly benefit.  For example people with low literacy skills will benefit from the use of symbols and information provided in plain English.  Older people with reduced mobility will benefit from accessible approaches to buildings and reduced travel distances from the car park. Families with small children will benefit from welcoming customer services and child friendly areas.  People who wear glasses may benefit from accessible websites and being able to enlarge the text on screen. People with temporary disabilities such as a broken arm or leg will benefit from accessible premises. Indeed it is fair to say that all members of society benefit from accessibility and Universal Design.

Secondly we let people know that accessibility is about access to information; good customer services and welcoming staff; access to buildings and facilities; public transport and ensuring all staff have equal opportunities to employment.

Whether you are new to the area of accessibility or you would like to continuously improve access within your organisation, here are five tips that can help you improve accessibility:

  1. Appoint someone within the organisation with responsibility for implementing accessibility and establish an access team, representative of your organisation.
  2. Prepare a high level accessibility policy and three year action plan. This plan should address information provision, human resources, the built environment and services accessibility. 
  3. Provide pre-visit information through your website, access guides, on your brochures and forms on how your organisation addresses accessibility.
  4. Provide staff with disability awareness training. Remember staff are key to ensuring the successfully delivery of an accessible service.
  5. Address procurement and accessibility: Ensure all goods and services bought by your organisation are accessible.

If you would like further information on making your organisation accessible or additional training, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01-4151285 or [email protected].