A recent report published by Scope and the Extra Costs Commission, found that UK businesses, including pubs, hotels and resturants, are losing an estimated £1.8bn a month by ignoring the needs of disabled customers.
The survey of over 2000 disabled people found that 75% of participants and their families have stopped frequenting restaurants etc. as a result of poor service and staff ignorance.
The report follows a 2014 government audit of more than 30,000 businesses which revealed 40% of restaurants do not have an accessible toilet, only 15% have hearing loops and 75% do not cater for the visually impaired.
Separate research by AccessChamp in 2014 found that just one in ten hotel rooms met the needs of disabled people.
Senior figures at the Business Disability Forum have called for immediate action from UK businesses, suggesting the findings as ‘startling’. They have implied that businesses which improve their commitment to disabled people will have the advantage over those who don’t.
Jackie Grech, legal and policy director for the British Hospitality Association (partners of NDML) said the industry was supportive towards improving access and training.
As the UK population is ageing, there is an increased number of older and disabled people – it is therefore more pertinent than ever that the hospitality sector embrace the ‘purple pound’ (worth £200bn) and do more to encourage their business.
Some simple solutions include:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Large print menus or versions in brail
- Staff capable of describing the menu to visually impaired guests
- Easy to use cutlery
- Raising table heights or removing table lips
For more information visit Equality and Human Rights Commission
Ensure you speak to NDML experts about your insurance requirements regarding disabled people.