Other Facts and Figures

Many people who develop a disability do so during their working lives.

Nearly 1 in 5 people of working age (18.6%) in Great Britain have a disability. (Labour Force Survey, Jan-March 2009)

Employee absence in the UK in 2007 amounted to 172 million days lost, at a cost of £13.2 billion. (CBI/AXA absence survey, May 2008)

2.2 million people of working age will be off work for at least six months at any one time due to sickness or disability. (British Heart Foundation, 2006)

Remembering the needs of disabled consumers can also help you tap into a rich customer base. Did you know 83% of customers with disabilities have taken their business to a more accessible competitor? (Employers Forum on Disability on-line survey 2006, ‘The Walk Away Pound’)

Accessibility is about addressing barriers that disabled people face when doing the things that non-disabled people take for granted.

The DDA requires goods and service providers to make adjustments so that disabled members of the public have equal access to their services or products.

This can include:

• changing a practice, policy or procedure that makes it possible for disabled individuals to make use of a service

• where a physical feature makes it unreasonably difficult to make use of a service, take reasonable steps to remove it, alter it, or provide an alternative method of making the service available

• provide an auxiliary aid or service for example, provision of a signer or making information available on audio tape

These duties apply whether the services are provided free or at a cost and include public, private and third sector organisations

Organisations may choose to obtain specialist support to assess accessibility and identify solutions via an Access Audit. Something as simple as considering the colour contrast between walls, floors and furniture can make a big difference to the accessibility of a building to many people. An essential part of access is ensuring that staff are trained in disability etiquette, particularly those in front-of-house roles. This will support them to more effectively assist disabled customers in an appropriate manner.

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