Going to an activity or performing everyday outings should be fun and easy, but for many disabled people, it’s anything but. The goal of the True Inclusion Foundation is to help businesses become more inclusive and aware of disabilities so that anyone can go anywhere without undue hardship.
So, how do businesses become truly inclusive? Here are some suggestions and things to consider.
Inside your Business
When someone enters your business, they should feel safe, regulated and included. Physical barriers and sensory triggers should be avoided where possible, and signage should be simple and straightforward to avoid unnecessary stress and confusion. Here are 12 things to keep in mind…
- The temperature in the space and temperature control options
- Dimmer lighting and using natural light where possible
- Avoid strong smells like perfumes and air fresheners
- The volume of music and additional noises
- Clear, simple signage with directions
- Different lines or line-skipping options
- Easy-read information using pictures and straightforward language
- Avoid flashing lights
- True Inclusion Sensory kits available in store to lend out (coming soon!)
- Make sure all paths and walkways are wheelchair accessible, and ramp access is optional if stairs are required.
- Be supportive of service dogs.
- Have a laminated picture communication sheet that can be used if someone is overwhelmed and unable to speak.
Your business’s online presence is your first point of contact and probably the easiest thing to make fully accessible. Here are seven things to keep in mind about your online presence…
- A listing on the website that shows the least busy times
- Pictures of the space on the website
- Video tour of the space available online with closed captioning
- Social stories that can be downloaded before visiting
- Accessible social media (image descriptions and easy-to-read font, accessible for screen readers)
- Provide scripts for things that might be helpful in terms of what they might be asked or need to ask
- Provide detailed information about busy or possibly overwhelming spots within the business
Other Things to Consider
We know that only some of these will be relevant to some businesses, but here are a few more things to keep in mind when creating a truly inclusive environment.
- Quiet space for someone who is feeling overwhelmed
- Knowing the sunflower lanyard and what it means
- Accessible toilet, parking, automatic door openers
- Accept Access 2 Card (if you are a place that charges admission)
- If you provide a service, offer a pre-visit visit
- Have alternatives to hand dryers and automatic toilets
- Food options for different dietary needs
- Staff training by True Inclusion Foundation
Sign up for our emails, as we will be breaking down each of these points and giving examples about how to accomplish each over the coming weeks!