ACS Talks Importance of Disabled Customers at Lords Select Committee

ACS chief executive James Lowman has given evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee, highlighting the important role that the convenience sector plays in accommodating the needs of disabled customers.

Speaking during the Committee hearing, Mr Lowman said: “Small businesses don’t have central HR departments or dedicated health and safety managers, so we need to show good practice in welcoming disabled customers and staff in a very practical way.  It is essential that we continue to communicate to retailers the ways that they can change their staff and store procedures to make their stores as accessible and welcoming as possible.”

Mr Lowman also cautioned the committee not to require employers to make anticipatory adjustments to their premises and working practices.

Mr Lowman said: "We fully support employers making reasonable adjustments to accommodate and support staff with disabilities. However it is not practical to prepare for every eventuality, especially in small, old sites."

In July this year, ACS launched a guide for retailers on how to best meet the needs of disabled customers.  The guide has been developed in partnership with the Business Disability Forum, and covers a range of issues including wheelchair access, how to assist blind or visually impaired customers and how to assist those with dementia.

The guide is free for retailers to download and use as part of their staff training and in-store procedures. The full document can be found here:

Mr Lowman was appearing at the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act. The Committee is due to publish its report in March 2016. The full session can be viewed on the Parliament website here:

This entry was posted by Victoria on Wed, 28/10/2015 - 09:35