Advice to Business Page

Ability Links supports businesses to diversify their customer base

1 in 5 Australians has some form of disability. That’s more than 4 million people, plus another 2 million who identify as being carers. If you consider that all these people have friends and family, there are a large number of Australians currently excluded from the marketplace. 

1 in 3 people with disability report that their customer needs are often unmet.

People with disability have a combined disposable annual income of around $54 million, a figure that is only set to increase with an ageing population. 

Most disabilities (85%) are not visible and include intellectual, sensory and psychological disability.

One in two Australians over the age of 65 has a disability.

Let us help you welcome these customers to your business. 

How we can help

Access at a glance

A Linker will assess your site, provide feedback and solutions to increase your accessibility, and promote your accessible features with a range of promotional material. 

Inclusion Champion

Have a chat with a community member with lived experience of disability to find out what makes a great customer experience for them. 

Workshops and training

Ability Links offers free tailored disability awareness and inclusion workshop packages – hour, half day and full day options available. 

We can also direct you to accredited training options. 

Online promotion

Promote your accessible features online through various websites and apps.

Research and costings

Local Linkers can assist you to research options for your business to make it more accessible. For example, find out about portable ramps, braille menus, sensory items and toys, communication apps, lighting and sound. 

 

Contact us to find out more!

Email: ability.links@vinnies.org.au OR Phone: (02) 4905 0700 (Hunter and Central Coast areas) or (02) 8622 0456 (Sydney Metro South)

 

Simple ways to make your business more accessible   

Ensure staff know the location of the nearest accessible toilet and parking facilities

Always talk directly to an individual, not to their interpreter, supporter, carer, family or friend  

Give your customer time to respond to your questions or offers of service

If your customer is hard of hearing/Deaf, face them so they can see your face, gestures, and read your lips

Make your website accessible – use sans serif font, 12 point minimum, long hotlinks and high contrast between text and background

Make EFTPOS machines easily reachable or wireless

Turn on closed captioning on television

Keep music low, and easily turned off if required

Did you know it is illegal to deny entry for guide dogs? You could offer to provide water bowls for them

Provide a pen and paper for an alternative method of communication

Identify yourself so customers with vision impairment know when you are talking to them

Offer to serve customers outside if you don’t have an accessible entrance

Talk directly to an individual and ask if you’re unsure how you can assist them

Widen aisles and remove obstacles from doorways to allow clear access

Provide alternative menu formats – such as on an electric device, or an image or audio menu to assist with ordering 

Review policies and procedures to ensure they promote inclusion and accessibility.

 

Simple ways to promote your accessible features online

 

Include information on accessibility on your ‘about’ page, or on a separate tab

Include photos of people with a visible disability

Use positive, inclusive language like “We welcome people of all abilities” 

Include an option for people to contact you about their access needs 

Include a section on your quiet times for people who may get overwhelmed easily

Display relevant access icons such as the wheelchair icon or the braille symbol 

If there is limited space for people in wheelchairs or with mobility aids be clear about this, and offer a pre-booking option

Advise if you have storage space available for mobility aids or prams

Provide information on which specific entry is wheelchair accessible

Include photos of your accessibility features, and, if possible, a floor plan

Include information on the closest accessible parking and accessible toilet available.