Salon Discrimination Laws – How to Make Sure your Salon is Accessible
The government estimates there are over 11 million disabled people in the UK, with an annual combined spending power of £80 billion.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which came into effect in 1995, is intended to reduce the amount the discrimination faced by many disabled people.
Part three of the act requires service providers to ensure they are providing accessible goods, facilities and services (GF&S) to their customers and all businesses are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their GF&S for their customers.
Obviously, what is reasonable for a large chain store is very different to that of a small hair salon, so cost effectiveness does have to be considered.
The good news is that many disability access issues can be addressed with minimum fuss. Here are managing director of Blind Ambition, Seema Flower’s top tips for ensuring your salon meets the Disability Discrimination Act.
Treat all disabled people as individuals For example, not all blind people will want, or need, to be treated in the same way (guiding for example). Talk to the disabled customer and not the friend or carer who might be with them.
Don’t be afraid to ask Just because your client is disabled you should not be afraid to ask them if there’s anything you can do to help. The disabled person is the only person who can tell you, so don’t assume anything.
Price list Provide your price list in an accessible format. This can simply mean in a large, clear print or electronically so that clients can read using their speech software.
Signage Make sure your signage is legible.
Décor Try to include contrast where possible, for example pale floors with dark furniture and trolleys. Also, ensure your staff keep walkways clear throughout the salon – this will be helpful for wheelchair or sight-impaired clients.
Staff training Provide disability awareness training for staff so they know how to serve disabled clients.
Premises When refitting or choosing premises consider doorway widths, as there is a legal size requirement under the DDA for wheelchair access. And consider access to the toilet and backwash for wheelchair clients. Often, these are off the main salon floor and often downstairs.
Ramps This can be an easy and relatively cheap adjustment. If you have small internal steps or a step from the street into the salon, a wooden ramp can be an inexpensive solution.
Recruitment It’s against the law to discriminate against disabled employees. Funding is available to support disabled people in employment and disabled employees can prove very loyal and stable in a fluid jobs market.