Each month I will be responding to a question; chosen from a pool of some of
the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and
continue to be asked.
This month, I’d like to answer the following question:
How to make coffee shops more accessible
In the general scheme of things and at the end of the day, we often do not
have much control over where we locate our coffee shop. Sometimes your
coffee shop may just be located in the right place or spot but there are
going to be times when it is not. So we do the best we can when it comes to
ensuring that our comfy little coffee shop is accessible to everyone.
The ideally accessible coffee shop would be one that is easy to find and
enter. One that can be easily accessed either by public transportation, or
easy to find along the sidewalk.
If you are lucky enough, your ideally accessible coffee shop could be
located at the corner of a street. Or failing this you can ensure that your
coffee shop has doors that are easy to find. IE, colors and signs that are
easy to see and read, and an entrance that is easy to access; not too many
steps and if possible accessible to those using wheelchairs.
So what’s left to make your coffee shop accessible to a person with a
disability? Here are some handy hints for you to consider.
1. Make sure that your tables and chairs are arranged in a manner that it is
easy for wheelchairs to access and easy for persons with low vision to find
2. Ensure that your counter is also easy to find. It should be placed at a
reachable level for persons with wheelchairs.
3. Ensure that condiments are reachable for everyone and that staff is on
hand to help those with vision loss to find them and if necessary to assist
further if needed.
4. Very important; make sure that your staff is appropriately trained to
help customers with a disability. That is, to render appropriate assistance
when called upon, to be able to answer questions in a crisp and clear
manner, and to provide proper guiding assistance when called upon.
Hopefully these hints and suggestions will give you a great start.