This resource is part of our Disability Essentials range. You can find here the other free resources that are included in this range.
A disabled customer may prefer to meet face-to-face rather than discussing matters over the phone or online.
Before setting up an appointment, always check if the customer has any requirements. Ask all customers this question as you may not know if someone has a disability.
If your premises are difficult to access, you should suggest meeting somewhere that is more accessible or consider offering the customer a home visit. See the resource about ‘Providing services to disabled customers in their home’. Remember that disabled customers may prefer not to travel during peak time.
Planning the appointment
- Before setting up an appointment, always check if the customer has any particular requirements in connection to the appointment. Ask all customers this.
- Explain in advance what will happen during the meeting, including who will be there and what the customer will be asked and need to do. This will help the customer to prepare and will ensure they have all the necessary information with them.
- The customer may wish to bring someone with them to the meeting.
- Ask before the appointment if the customer would like information provided in a different format such as large print, Braille, audio, Easy Read.
- Remember that face-to-face interpreters are in demand and will often require advanced booking. Online video interpreting can be booked at short notice, and provide remote real-time interpretation via a PC, mobile device or smart phone.
On the day
- Be on time. If you are running late or have to move an appointment, give the customer as much notice as possible. Remember that the customer may have had to plan their trip or organise assistance to get to the appointment, so rearranging at short notice may be difficult for them.
- Don’t make assumptions about the customer’s needs or abilities. Give them plenty of opportunity to tell you how they would like a service delivered or the item which they think is best for them. They are the expert and are probably used to coming up with different ways to achieve the same result.
- The customer may need longer to read through forms and information. Be ready to explain the information.
- The customer may find writing or signing a signature difficult, or the signature may be inconsistent.
- Offer to follow up with accessible information, if it is not available on the day.
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