As lockdown eases we need to think about how services will impact on disabled people after the Pandemic. At Direct Access we have provided access audits and have advised our clients on what they can do post-COVID19 to ensure accessibility.
Here are some our top tips that we hope organisations will find useful:
1. Hand sanitizer dispensers fixed to the wall should be between 800mm and 1,000mm from finished floor level. Where placed on tables, the table should have clear space underneath of 700mm to 800mm for wheelchair users to access.
2. If you are wearing a mask, a Deaf or hard of hearing person will not be able to lipread you. There are a wide range of voice-to-text apps available – including Otter, Google Live Transcribe and Ava – but they are by no means perfect or 100 per cent accurate.
3. People with a visual impairment will find it difficult to maintain social distancing. A guide dog will have been trained to go straight to an entrance even if there is a queue. Offer to help – for a small shop collect the items they need or for a larger store a member of staff can assist with navigation around the store.
4. Where a glazed protection screen is used above a counter or reception desk, an induction loop system, in accordance with BS 7594 should be provided in addition to a speech transfer system. It should be clearly indicated with the standard “T” switch symbol. The screen must also be positioned in a way to facilitate lip reading. Lighting design should ensure that both the employee’s and the customer’s faces are evenly lit.
5. Signage systems should be graphical and the text large enough to be read.
If you would like to know more get in touch with us. We’d like to help to ensure that organisations are providing services that will not exclude disabled people.
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