Approximately 18% of the Australian population has a disability. That’s 4.4 million people who experience visual impairment, intellectual disability, deafness, brain injury, physical impairment, or other forms of disability.
Despite how common disabilities are in Australia, many businesses fail to accommodate the varying needs of these individuals.
Thankfully, there are many ways to ensure that your business provides adequate access options for people with disabilities. Given the amount of affordable and well-designed automated systems out there, there’s no excuse for excluding so many potential customers.
By understanding the importance of accessibility in business, you’re not only creating an inclusive place for everyone but also opening up opportunities for a wider customer base.
The importance of accessibility in business
Every business should take great care to ensure that their store is accessible to as many people as possible. There are many reasons for this, besides simply being the kind and decent thing to do.
Understanding the importance of accessibility in business is crucial and has many benefits to outweigh the initial costs, including:
There are cases where customers will be within their legal rights to sue your business for your lack of accessibility. Implementing a few basic changes could end up saving you from a costly lawsuit down the road.
Great first impression
Investing money and effort into making your business more accessible will leave a good impression on first-time visitors. They may view your business as more professional, successful, and genuine.
A larger pool of customers
If your business isn’t accessible to certain groups of people, you’re needlessly shrinking your customer pool. By opening up your business to more people, you could gain loyal customers for many years to come.
Making your business more accessible will eventually accumulate a lot of goodwill for you and your brand. By doing the right thing, and accommodating those who may be physically, mentally, or visually impaired, you’re sure to improve your business’s reputation in the community.
Better work environment
When you create a work environment that’s inclusive and welcoming of everyone, you’re setting a positive example for your employees. This can lead to a better overall workplace dynamic, especially if you incorporate sensitivity training as well.
With all of these positive outcomes, the importance of accessibility in business simply can’t be overstated. Despite all these benefits, it’s necessary to restate that prioritising accessibility is more than just an investment in your long-term success. It’s a compassionate and ethical choice that every business should make, regardless of profits.
How to make your business more accessible
Not sure of how to make your business more accessible?
We’re happy to offer some guidance. There are many non-tech-based ways to improve accessibility, such as sensitivity training, accessible reading materials in braille, and proper lighting. However, automated systems are among the best investments into accessibility, namely for their durability and convenience.
The automated systems listed below are sure to make your business a more positive and inclusive place for everyone.
Unisex accessible toilets
If your business offers washrooms, or you plan on building a washroom in the future, you should ensure that it’s wheelchair accessible. For a washroom to be considered accessible, it must meet some guidelines detailed in subsection 31(1) of Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act.
- The door must be at least 700mm in width.
- There must be a minimum of 900mm to 920mm width inside the cubicle.
- The toilet must be the ‘peninsula’ type that sits between 460mm and 480mm above ground.
- There must be two grab-rails on both sides of the toilet that can withstand a force of 1,100N.
Please note, these are just a few of the guidelines. We encourage you to read subsection 31(1) for more details.
To further improve the accessibility of the washroom, you can make it unisex and utilise automated door technology. Having to manually push or pull doors can be difficult and, in some cases, impossible for some people. An automated door for your accessible washroom is a must.
Automatic Door Solutions
Automatic doors aren’t just used to make washrooms more accessible.
Disabled access doors, and ramps if necessary, help people with mobility devices enter your business with ease. This includes people who use wheelchairs, walking aids like canes, walkers, and crutches, as well as parents pushing strollers.
If you’re unsure of how to make your business more wheelchair accessible, disabled access doors are a fantastic place to start. With the right provider and installation team, the process of having an automated door implemented on your property couldn’t be easier. With just a small initial investment, you’ll be able to welcome more customers than ever before.
Who should use automated systems?
Automated systems aren’t just beneficial for businesses. Many other organisations and institutions should prioritise the implementation of automated systems as well.
This includes secondary schools, universities, hospitals, and other medical centres. Given how important these institutions are to the average person, they must be as accessible as possible.
That being said, there are more benefits to using automated systems than accessibility. Devices like automatic hygienic door operators also reduce the spread of germs and prevent contamination in places with lots of foot traffic, like schools and hospitals. Automatic doors can be opened and closed without physical contact, saving visitors from the germs, bacteria, and viruses that can cling to doorknobs or handles.
Accessible print material and signage
When looking for ways on how to make your business more accessible, don’t forget about signage. In addition to making some accommodations for people with mobility disabilities, you need to also consider those who are visually impaired, blind and deaf.
Signage that includes large fonts and images are easier to read for the elderly, those with low vision or for those who are deaf and unable to hear important information. Signage isn’t just helpful for listing products and services, but also for pointing out information points, toilet, exit and emergency doors.
When planning access signage for your business, remember to include braille. Braille is a system of reading and writing for people who are blind or visually impaired. Most buildings in Australia already require braille signage to meet the Australian Standards.
To implement braille, you don’t have to remove your existing signage. Simply add braille text strips to your existing signage as a cost-effective solution.
Make your business more inclusive with Go Doors
Go Doors understands the importance of accessibility for businesses, and we’re here to help. We are Western Australia’s sole provider for RECORD automatic door operators.
As one of the world’s leading brands, RECORD’s innovative automatic door solutions are reliable and incredibly high-quality. As a family-owned and operated business, the team at Go Doors is dedicated to providing outstanding service. With over 100 years of combined technician experience, you can rely on our team to offer expert advice and perform flawless installations.
We offer 24-hour support and emergency door repairs, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have by calling (08) 9419 3373, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or filling out our online form for a free quote.