New guide shows businesses how to be more accessible

Published: 08 Dec 2022

Mayor Greg Williamson hit Caneland Central today (December 8) to launch an exciting new guide aimed at helping businesses to grow their customer bases.

The Good Access Equals Good Business guide was created by council and the Access and Inclusion Reference Group, which is made up of local stakeholders from the disability community.

“This guide is all about helping business owners and service providers to identify areas where a small change, with minimal or no expense, can make a big difference to their customers, especially those with disability,” Mayor Williamson said.

“By making your business more accessible, you can drastically increase your customer base and create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive,” he said.

“In Australia, one in six people are estimated to be living with disability and more than half of those aged over 55 have difficulties with mobility, sight and hearing.

“So that’s a considerable chunk of a businesses’ customer base, and then you factor in those who benefit from better access like parents with prams and even those pushing trolleys, and it’s easy to see why a guide like this can be tremendously helpful.”

Artist David Conway, from the Access and Inclusion Reference Group, said good access went one step further than just bringing in more customers.

“Excluding people with disability is actually against the law,” Mr Conway said.

“If a person with disability can’t access your business or service, then it is within their right to make a complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act,” he said.

“This guide has a comprehensive list of actions businesses and service providers can undertake to make them more accessible and welcoming.

“Mostly, they are really simple things like keeping the pathway into your business clear of obstacles, making isles at least 1.2 metres wide, ensuring staff know the location of the nearest accessible toilet and ensuring signage is easily readable.

“This guide also has some excellent tips for helping staff to better serve those who have communication difficulties.”

The Good Access Equals Good Business guide and checklist is available online.

A limited number of hard copy guides are also available from council’s Customer Service Centres.