Ensure your business makes reasonable adjustments for disabled people
The Equality Act 2010 covers the rights given in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 that reasonable changes or adjustments should be made to ensure that everyone has access to businesses providing goods, facilities or services to members of the public.
Compliance with legal requirements related to disabled access is judged on how a business operates, not on a building’s design. This also means that tenants are responsible for access policies, not landlords.
Cambridge City Council’s Access Officer, Mark Taylor, is able to provide free advice to you on adjustments your business may be able to make, but the council is unable to provide legally binding advice. This is because the courts rule on what is considered as ‘reasonable adjustments’ on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances involved.
You can also seek professional advice on adjustments you need to make from the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) by phoning 0808 800 0082.
Some adjustments that have been made by other businesses in Cambridge have included:
- Purchasing a ramp when access to your business is through a step and not a flat entrance
- Having a doorbell that is at wheelchair height in case people need assistance to get into your business
- Purchasing a hearing loop for hearing impaired customers
- Ensuring that if you have aisles, there would be enough room for people in a wheelchair to move around in them
As well as ensuring you are compliant with the law, the government has also reported that disabled people have a combined income of £212 billion, which means it makes good business sense to make adjustments around disabled access.