Making reasonable adjustments for disabled people isn’t just something to be done to appease customers, colleagues or the general public. The Equality Act (2010) states that employers, shops, local authorities, schools and others have a duty to make premises, products and services accessible to all.
Here we will look into the details behind reasonable adjustments, and how your business can make them.
What is meant by reasonable adjustments?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission says of reasonable adjustments: “The duty to make reasonable adjustments aims to make sure that if you are a disabled person, you can use an organisation’s services as close as it is reasonably possible to get to the standard usually offered to non-disabled people.”
Organisations must ask themselves whether the following factors could put disabled people at a disadvantage compared to people who are not disabled.
- The way the organisations operates
- Physical features of its premises
- The absence of features or services to assist disabled people
For example, a requirement to wear certain clothing to enter a venue could discriminate against people with different conditions, an entry to premises might have steps in front but no ramp, or a shop does not have a portable induction loop on its counter so hard of hearing people struggle to engage in conversations with staff.
What changes can be made?
- Altering premises to make them accessible
- Changing requirements if disabled people cannot reasonably meet them
- Investing in technology and other aids for disability
- Training staff on disability awareness
Generally, if an adjustment is simple and straightforward for an organisation to make it will be considered reasonable. However, that does not automatically make trickier adaptations unreasonable to make.
Building ramps and other access points might be an expensive task, but if an organisation has the budget to comfortably cover it, then it would be considered reasonable in any aspect.
Going the extra mile
Of course, it is not simply best to just meet the bare minimum. Investing in making adjustments to your premises, products or services will open up your potential talent pool and customer base hugely.
Putting extra measures in place for disabled people, such as Mobility Solutions offering specific appointments during the pandemic, shows that you are serious about equality.
This will make your organisation open to more and more people, and the goodwill generated cold be another boost that you receive.