Are you open for business… for everyone?

That’s the question the Equality Commission is asking as part of its ‘Every Customer Counts’ initiative. If your business or organisation offers services to the public, you need to read on.

Every business, regardless of its size, has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people can access its services, but there are many other reasons why you should stop and consider how accessible your business currently is.

You can widen your customer base, build customer loyalty and plan ahead for the future. 11% of Northern Ireland’s population reported a mobility or dexterity problem in the 2011 census. Official population projections suggest that by 2022 – just six years away – the population aged 65 or more will rise by 26%.

Reasonable adjustments should aim to provide equality in service provision for everyone, with the same level of access, dignity and choice. This doesn’t have to mean massive physical changes. Small changes to the way you work, how you present information and your premises can have a big impact on your customer numbers.  Making sure that your staff can provide good customer service to disabled people often makes the biggest difference of all.

Every Customer Counts aims to encourage businesses to do something to improve their service to disabled people and the Equality Commission is here to help you. The first step is to audit how your business is doing now with the online self audit tool.

Find out more at equalityni.org/everycustomercounts