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Do they know your place is accessible? If they don't know, they might not go ...
The Demographics of Disabled Access

[6] Crucial Importance of the Accessibility Factor:

"Companies marketing to
people with disabilities
can reach
4 in every 10 consumers."

— FORTUNE Magazine

[Read the article? PDF version | Text version]

There is substantial variation as to both the nature and degree of one individual's particular "disability" to that of someone else.

The same holds true about what "accommodations" may serve the "special needs" of any one particular individual's "disability" as opposed to the "disability" of someone else. Each of us is just a little different, and consequently there is no "one size fits all" answer.

In our hypothetical example on the last couple of pages, the "special needs" of one teenager with a relatively minor leg injury became the crucially important factor that ultimately cost your hypothetical restaurant the business of his family, and their friends, and their clients, and their relatives from out of town. And quite possibly many of the friends of their friends.

Just because your former customers didn't know whether or not your store was sufficiently barrier-free to accommodate their injured child's needs.

And with all the bark off, that's the downside of the "ripple effect." And in a nutshell, that's what constitutes the accessibility factor.

Those who don't personally have a significant disability to contend with (or a disability in the life of someone close to them) may not be inclined to think much about accessibility. It's probably not an issue they never thought much about either way. Maybe they never had to.

Maybe Not That Relevant for Some, But an Absolutely Crucial Factor for Others ...

For that 23% of our population who do live with a disability and who do have to think about what it may take to accommodate that disability everywhere they go, every waking moment of their lives, "accessibility" may be the most important factor in determining whether or not they will feel safe and comfortable when planning a visit to an unfamiliar place, or just contemplating their participation in any of a multitude of routine activities most of us take for granted.

How many real families like the hypothetical Smiths are not doing business with your business RIGHT NOW because they don't have sufficient information about your business and don't know whether your store will be sufficiently barrier-free to accommodate their needs?

And if they don't know, they may well be unlikely to want to risk visiting your store at all.

Can you measure the profit your store will lose in the next week, or the next month, or over the next five or ten years because TWENTY-THREE PERCENT of your potential customers – and their families and friends – simply don't know whether your business will be sufficiently barrier-free for their physical needs, or they don't know whether you and your staff will care enough about their business to make an honest effort to make them feel welcome as customers?

For many retail businesses, that lack of knowledge can become an instant "deal-breaker"!

So what are you going to do about that?

Please continue ...
Next: Symbiosis, the ADA, and Your Business >>>
References: [ Disability Studies, Statistics, and Related Issues | No Java? ]
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