Social distancing for people with hidden disabilities

16th July 2020, 8:49am | By Marc Read |

As people begin to get out more, we’re asking local businesses and their staff to help make those who find social distancing challenging, due to a disability, feel welcome and supported. Below are some tips which you may find useful.

  • Not all disabilities are visible. Familiarise yourself and your staff with initiatives that can identify a customer as someone with a hidden disability. These could include an autism alert card, a badge that identifies them as someone who can struggle at times to understand social distancing or a sunflower lanyard or card.  A poster at the entrance and a mention of these schemes on your website and social media will help customers with a hidden disability feel welcome.
  • Be aware of the exemptions in place in relation to wearing face coverings and share this information will all staff and with your customers eg through a poster at the entrance to your premises. Some customers may carry a card that explains why they are exempt such as these from hidden disabilities, First Bus and Arriva.
  • Understand that changes to your premises such as layout, floor stickers, barriers, and PPE could make the premises feel unfamiliar to some regular customers and they may need support from you and your staff to feel comfortable.
  • Work with family and friends if someone who is with them is struggling to understand the rules and why they need to follow them.
  • Recognise that some customers, such as those who have a sight impairment, might need support from you and your staff to find their way around your new layout.

Consider a written and/or video guide for your website and social media which shows the changes you have made to your premises to help customers prepare themselves and anyone they care for or support who might struggle with the new layout and rules.

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