Businesses, organisations and venues are all fully aware of the pressure to become accessible for disabled guests, and if you are a business owner, you may well be feeling the heat yourself. Sadly, pressure often overshadows support, and what organisations are often not told is how best to make these changes. So, hopefully this blog post helps: here are three tips on the action to take when considering inclusive travel.
Promoting with integrity
Venues need to shout about their accessible facilities proudly but with integrity. Too often, there are incredibly inclusive organisations who are just not telling the world about how well they can provide for disabled customers and this needs to change with the support and encouragement of disabled people. This also goes the other way, however: venues can also feel a pressure to be accessible which then leads to a dishonesty about their facilities – one of the most frustrating things about going anywhere is your accommodation or tour operator making a promise that they cannot keep! So, we need to encourage the loud and proud celebration and promotion of inclusive travel, whilst also appreciating those businesses who are working hard to make changes whilst still keeping their integrity in admitting that they’re not quite there yet!
Secondly, organisations need to train their staff well in terms of disability awareness, which is something we provide and can help you with at Enhance the UK. Ramps, vibrating alarm clocks and colour contrasting visual aids are all well and good, but a disabled person will still feel out of place in even the most accessible venue if the staff working there don’t feel comfortable when communicating with them. There’s often a huge worry that surrounds disabled travel, and we need to do all we can to change that worry into a welcome and remove the fear factor surrounding disability so that everyone feels confident enough to get out there and see the world (because, let’s face it, that’s the really exciting part of any trip!)
Money, Money, Money
And finally, we all need to become a little bit more financially aware when it comes to inclusive travel. Too often, businesses think that adapting their venue for disabled customers or clients will cost the earth. This simply isn’t true; there are many small, cheap adaptations that can be made that will make a huge and lasting impact for all. Think water bowls for guide dogs, vibrating alarm clocks for hard of hearing customers (around £30 on Amazon!) and easy access web booking systems, as not everyone can use a telephone. Similarly, we also must understand that, believe it or not, inclusive travel is a huge and booming business, and disabled travellers have money that they are actively looking to spend. Making somewhere accessible isn’t just the kind and ethical thing to do, it’s also a seriously profitable business model that should be invested in!
The opportunity to travel is an opportunity that should be extended to all, so that more people can realise their capabilities and leave their limitations behind. By making your business that bit more accessible and inclusive, you are helping to change the game for the better (and, we can guarantee, you’ll have some very loyal disabled customers as a result, too!)
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