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Is your staff adequately trained on accessibility policies?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | ADA |

Many business owners understand the importance of having a property that is accessible and inclusive to all members of the public. This can include the physical structure and providing alternate means of communication.

However, many business owners forget to educate their staff on ADA accessibility. This is a significant oversight because your employees are the frontline and face of the company, and they are the ones who will make a lasting impression on your guests.

Why does accessibility training matter?

Training your staff on accessibility policies is a legal and moral requirement. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that almost all businesses provide equal access and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Failure to comply with ADA regulations can result in legal penalties, fines and damage to your business’s reputation.

By providing accessible environments, businesses can ensure that all customers, including those with disabilities, feel welcome and valued. An inclusive approach can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

However, without proper training, your staff may unknowingly create barriers for disabled customers.

One of the first things training should cover is understanding the different types of disabilities, including physical, sensory and cognitive. Understanding the diverse needs of individuals with varying types of disabilities is vital to being able to provide appropriate accommodations.

Encouraging empathy and awareness helps staff appreciate the challenges these individuals face. Role-playing exercises can be effective in building sensitivity and understanding.

Educate your staff on the ADA’s specific requirements. Also, ensure they know your company’s accessibility policies and procedures. This includes knowing how to respond to accommodation requests and handle complaints.

Training should emphasize the importance of respectful and inclusive communication, which involves using person-first language, avoiding assumptions and being patient.

Training your staff on accessibility, inclusion and ADA requirements involves multiple layers, which may be too much for a business owner to attempt on their own. Therefore, working with someone who understands the various regulations can help ensure you and your staff are legally compliant.