New guide Welcoming Disabled Customers published

07 March 2019

A new and updated guide on meeting the needs of disabled customers and clients is being launched today (7 March) at LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort.

Welcoming Disabled Customers has been developed by Business Disability Forum, a not-for-profit membership organisation, in collaboration with businesses, disability organisations and people with conditions covered in the guide, sponsored by Merlin Entertainments.

front cover image of new publication welcoming disabled customers featuring a number of images of people

With 1 in 5 customers or clients estimated to have a disability or long-term condition, the guide offers advice to businesses on how to ensure all customers receive the very best level of customer service.

The practical resource provides customer and client facing staff with relevant information on understanding and meeting the needs and preferences of customers with different conditions and disabilities. This includes advice on communication needs, along with access issues and making adjustments. It also includes general pointers on providing good customer service and harnessing the £249 billion spending power of disabled customers and clients.

In addition, the fully revised guide includes new quick reference sections (Quick Tips), updated advice on assistive communication, additional facts sections and new multiple-choice questions to help the reader to recap on their learning.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said:

“Disabled people want to be able to access the same services, products and facilities as everyone else and have a right to do so. Sometimes, making your service accessible may mean offering it a different way, but the level of service you provide should not change.

Welcoming Disabled Customers is here to help customer facing staff be proactive and have the confidence to begin conversations with customers about their needs without the fear of getting it wrong.

“With 83% of all disabilities being acquired rather than present at birth, many of us are likely to be affected by disability at some point in our lives. The majority of disabilities are not immediately visible, so ensuring your business is as inclusive as possible is not only the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense. Delivering better customer service for disabled customers, means better customer service for everyone.”

Sandra Hazel, Group Head of Being a Force for Good at Merlin Entertainments, said:

“We’re really proud to be sponsoring this guide which is a fantastic tool for service businesses in helping welcome guests.

“At Merlin, we know from the feedback we have had through Merlin’s Magic Wand, how considering the needs of customers with disabilities benefits everybody.

“We are committed to continuously improving the accessibility of our attractions and will take every reasonable step to make the necessary adjustments for all our guests to enjoy a great day out. This includes great customer service, and this guide will certainly help all our teams have the confidence to interact and create great memorable experiences for guests of all abilities.”

Diane Lightfoot and Sandra Hazel will be speaking at the launch event alongside Chris Ireland, Park Operations Director at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, and Fiona Devine, co-founder and CEO of Alexander Devine Children Hospice Service. Fiona will be speaking about her personal reasons for setting up the service and how the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort has helped.

During the event, guests will be able to find out more about the Welcoming Disabled Customers guide, as well as experiencing for themselves the accessible facilities on offer at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, including the Total Sensory Space, which LEGOLAND launched last year.

For further information on the guide, including how to purchase it, please visit our publications page.