Experts have called for bars, restaurants, and hotels to consider the accessibility of their venues and facilities when reopening, warning that the needs of disabled customers are often overlooked in the ‘new normal’.
As hospitality businesses start to reopen, venues must be aware of how new distancing measures or safety protocols will impact disabled consumers.
Some of the most common examples of hard to navigate distancing measures include, traffic-light based systems, floor markers, bathroom queuing systems and contactless payment only signs.
Now user experience (UX) and digital agency, Sigma, is calling for venues to give greater consideration to their new designs or layouts and safety measures in the eyes of their disabled customers.
Hilary Stephenson, managing director at user experience (UX) agency, Sigma, said: “Following government advice, the responsibility is now on all businesses, whatever their size or sector, to ensure their services are accessible – as nearly one in five people in the UK has a disability or impairment. Things have been tough for everyone during the past few months, however we shouldn’t abandon accessibility for all in the race to reopen. Better accessibility should not be an option, or consideration in hindsight, it should be a central customer experience consideration from the start.”
When it comes to retail, research by disability charity, Purple, revealed that three-quarters (75%) of disabled people have had to leave a physical store because they were unable to finish a purchase due to their disability.