Taking steps to ensure that your business is compliant with various legal and commercial obligations is very important. Failing to meet such requirements risks legal action and missed opportunities. It is also important that you understand the various laws, rules and regulations that govern your business. This will give your business an edge over other establishments that fail to comply with customer needs.
Implementing the AODA Act
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) champions the needs of the disabled. In most setups, people with disabilities face challenges in accessing shopping outlets. People with disabilities also face challenges in life, with most of them depending on government help to fend for basic needs. It is for such reasons that the AODA Act was implemented. As a business owner, you should ensure that your business is compliant with this act. It is important to note that this act applies to all businesses, from solopreneurs to big established companies.
Tips for Complying With the AODA Act
There are several ways you can ensure your business is compliant with the AODA Act. Discussed below are tips on how you can make your business more accessible to all your customers.
Remove Physical Barriers
One of the easiest and most reliable methods to make your shop more accessible is by removing physical barriers. This includes parking with sections reserved for people with disabilities, entrances, and doorways that can easily be accessible by wheelchairs. You should also create ample space in your shop and lobbies of the building. Making such changes will help people living with disabilities, for example, those that need special wheelchairs to access the building.
Provide Special Equipment
Apart from getting rid of barriers, you should provide special equipment to customers and employees with disabilities. Some of this equipment includes accessible washrooms, height-adjustable desks, handicap-friendly elevators, among others. Besides, you should ensure that your employees have the knowledge and courtesy to handle customers living with disabilities. If you want their skills improved, you can enrol them on an AODA online training. You should make the necessary changes around the building for easier access. This will help your business comply with the AODA Act.
Use Assistive Technology
One way you can make your business more inclusive and accessible is by using assistive technology. This technology can help disabled customers to have access to various areas. Besides, assistive technology helps your employees carry out their duties without setbacks.
Provide Remote Work and Flexible Hours
In some cases, having an accessible business alone isn’t enough for people with extreme mobility impairment. For such people, you can consider getting the products to them instead of having them come over. There are several ways you can ensure your business flexible enough for such people. For instance, you can set up a business website where they can make orders. Make sure it is detailed enough to and filled clear images of the products you deal with. This will go a long way in increasing sales and boosting your business reputation.
Be Proactive About Accessibility
As a business owner, you should be more proactive about accessibility. This means that you have to go beyond making structural changes to your building to accommodate people with disabilities. You need to put in more efforts to improve your business accessibility and ensure that everyone involved is adhering to the guidelines. Ensure that your employees are up-to-date with various forms of disabilities and how they can handle such customers. You should also keep the assistive technology up to date.
Provide a Less Stressful Business Environment
Sometimes, running a business can be very stressful. This can create a stressful environment that can affect customers with mental impairments. Such an environment is also not conducive for your employees. Ensure that your employees are in a good state of mind to handle customers.
To keep your employees in a good state of mind, you can encourage them to enjoy their lunch break away from the work station. Discourage them from working through such breaks because it can affect their mental health. You can also create meditation stations where employees can refresh their minds.
Revise the Company Culture
After working on various changes with your business to allow easy access to people living with disabilities, you should revise your company culture to reflect it. Establish traditions that make your business a haven for people living with disabilities.
It is important to ensure that your business complies with the AODA Act. All customers should easily access your business, whether disabled or not. This article has discussed several tips on making your business accessible to all customers.