Spike in businesses taking up accessibility training during covid-19 lock down

From furloughed employees, business owners trying to reset their businesses, we have seen a spike in the number of people who have used lock down to learn something new and make a difference to their business and the experience of disabled customers.

We have seen an 85% increase in both staff and business owners taking up our online training during lock down, which covers confidence with both visible and non-visible disabilities, understanding different disabilities and ideas to be as inclusive as possible, in bite-size 15-minute modules.

And, last week, 34 people from across various business sectors – from retailers to hospitality- joined our free face-to-face accessibility in business webinar, run in collaboration with Boost Lancashire.

Nausheen Hussain, one of the participants, said: “It was very insightful and I can relate to a lot of what has been said as I have a disability and have experienced it myself. I think it’s all about treating others how you wish to be treated yourself.

“Mental illness is a hidden disability and this is what my audiologist told me when I first lost my hearing and its stuck with me ever since, ‘deafness is silent – but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it.’

Caroline White, who is currently opening up an accessible glamping cabin in Wyre, and has already made added ramps, lowered worktops and added features, such as sensory stories for people with autism, also joined the free 1-hour workshop to ensure she is doing all she can to be accessible for all.

“We want to do what we can to be as inclusive as we can be,” she said. “We want to reassure guests, especially at the moment, that they can come stay with us and feel confident in their safety. But we also wanted to know how is the best way to go about this and what do we need to be doing and telling our guests? The course was great and very informative.”

Presented by Mel Close, of Disability Equality, the free course run on Zoom will be run again in July and August ( dates and links will appear here in the coming weeks).

The modular online training, which you can do at your own pace, in your own time, is available here.

For more information, you can drop us an email hello@disabilityfirst.org

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