The Experience of Customers with Disabilities Programme

///The Experience of Customers with Disabilities Programme
The Experience of Customers with Disabilities Programme 2017-10-11T18:59:15+00:00

Society seeks to move towards a more inclusive society and there is an inherent expectation that businesses will meet this demand. The purpose of the Disability Discrimination Act is to support inclusivity and allow all individuals to access facilities and services on an equal footing, the implementation of such legislation will transform the notion of inclusivity from a desire to a legal obligation. With the arrival of the Disability Discrimination Act employers and employees will need to understand their role in fulfilling the act and ensuring they meet its requirements to avoid potential legal action. The Busy Queen Bee in partnership with Digby Bricknell, from Enable, will help you assess and improve your quality standards through our disability awareness programme.

Why

The majority of businesses would consider themselves to be supportive of people with disabilities and will make adjustments such as providing accessible toilets or hearing loops. Often, however these adjustments are only part of a much bigger picture and what is required is a real understanding of the support that might be required, the attitudes and prejudices that exist in both people who are non  disabled and those that are disabled. A lack of understanding will often lead people to act in ways that may be construed as discriminatory or patronising, when in reality the intention was good. The programme will be tailored to your needs and help your organisation understanding the journey of a customer with disabilities within your facilities and over the phone.

How

Depending on the nature of your business, customers will interact on a number of levels from websites through to physical contact with the environment that you provide. Even with modern building standards there are many aspects that should be considered from signage through to lighting. Conducting an Accessibility Audit of the environment that you provide for your customers will enable you to assess the changes that could be made. Then we will send our Mystery Shoppers who will pose as normal customers with disability to gather information and asses the quality of the service experiences at every touch point in your facilities.

What

The Accessibility Audit and the Mystery Shopping will be conducted in partnership with “Speakout”, whose members have personal experience of disabilities.

1. Disability Audit

Depending on the nature of your business, customers will interact on a number of levels from websites through to physical contact with the environment that you provide. Even with modern building standards there are many aspects that should be considered from signage through to lighting. Conducting an Accessibility Audit of the environment that you provide for your customers will enable you to assess the changes that could be made.

The experiences of Speakout will allow an assessment to be made from their viewpoint and as experts in terms of their own conditions. From this audit a report will be fed back outlining the findings, whether positive or negative and most importantly some possible recommendations.

2. Mystery Shopping visit 

Diversity is about much more than simply being aware of individual differences, it is about embracing and incorporating them into everyday life. The shoppers will have an increase focus on:

  • was access satisfactory
  • was it easy to move around
  • were any staff patronizing
  • were aids available and working
  • was information provided in a helpful and considerate manner?
  • staff interaction
  • overall experience

3. Phone audit

  • appointment access
  • employee product knowledge
  • empathy and caring of staff

Who with

For this new service, The Busy Queen Bee is partnering with Digby Brecknell, from Enable.

Having built up a reputation as Landscaper and designer with the Forgotten Forest, back injuries forced Digby into taking a change of direction and so began a ten year path as a trainer and lecturer, gaining City and Guilds Certificate of Education in Post Compulsory Education and Training. Whilst working at Highlands College as an Associate Lecturer Digby primarily taught students with learning disabilities and emotional / behavioural difficulties. Digby’s experience expanded to include delivering courses to high risk offenders for the Probation Service as well as becoming a freelance trainer for Education Sports and Culture on their Critical Skills Programme, delivering three day courses to teachers across the island.

Moving to the Jersey Employment Trust to establish the transition service for young people and develop the training provision expanded Digby’s experience in supporting people with disabilities and long term health conditions and impairments. During this period Digby helped to establish Speakout, a forum for service users with disabilities and in 2014 took over this role once more as their facilitator.

An opportunity arose to work for Social Security as the Manager of Advance Plus, this position was challenging in many aspects and has given Digby an insight into the nature of the Civil Service. However, it was inevitable that Digby would return to working to the field of teaching, training and disability.

Drawing on extensive experience and passion as a trainer and working with individuals with disabilities, Digby is in a perfect position to work with businesses as a consultant and trainer to advise and empower both employers and employees in being able to offer excellent services to their customers with disabilities.

Identifying Gaps

The starting point in striving towards inclusivity is a basic philosophy and desire to change.  This philosophy needs to be a core value that is upheld by all staff, from senior management through to the staff. Addressing our preconceived values and challenging our own thoughts are imperative in creating a “Culture of Change”, that will underpin subsequent actions. We must also address the barriers that our faced and seek to create solutions that are practical and do not simply involve significant capital outlay.

The programme will provide you with essential information outlining the findings, whether positive or negative and most importantly some possible recommendations, to help you make a lasting and sustainable business improvement.

Customer Service Training

Information and understanding is the key to enabling staff to provide good to customers with disabilities and without that they will potentially feel out of their comfort zone. This can result in both sub standard customer experience and also a feeling of poor well being for the employee. Most importantly is the natural desire to treat our customers with respect and equality, which can sometimes be difficult if one is not informed and empowered as to how to achieve that aim.

The training will ensure that staff will have an increased understanding of the UK Disability Discrimination Act and how similar legislation might affect staff in Jersey in terms of their responsibilities to customers with disabilities. A fundamental starting point is ensuring that all staff have a common understanding of who the Act affects and what the term “disability” means. Equally important is dispelling the myths and misinformation that surround disabilities to ensure that staff have a better understanding and so feel confident in delivering excellent service to customers with disabilities.

Let us inspire you to thrive by delivering Exceptional Experience for your customers with disabilities.

Contact us for a quote: admin@thebusybeehives.com