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Networking@Noon - Is Your Business Accessible Enough? - Photos

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sandy Johnston was our first Networking@Noon speaker in 2011, reminding us all that we only have till January 1st, 2012 to be compliant with the new accessibility legislation, only a short 10 months from now!

In her presentation, Sandy noted that any part of your business that is open to the public must also be accessible. If you have volunteers dealing with the public, they need to be trained, just like your regular staff would be. The purpose of the training is to remove attitudinal barriers from all levels of your organization.  At the current time, there is no accreditation for accessibility trainers, so it is up to you to do the research to make sure they're good enough  to train your team.

Accessibility isn't only the physical portions of the building; we don't all need to build ramps and install elevators, we do need to find other ways of providing our services. If somebody can't get in to your building, you bring your services out to them. If your reception desk is too high to see over from a wheelchair, your receptionist can come out from behind the desk and bring his/her chair along so that they can sit & talk at the same eye level. If your client has an assistant, be polite to the assistant, but converse with your client directly - the assistant is essentially a tool for getting around, but is not  likely to bethe decision maker for your client. If you do make physical upgrades to your facility, anything you buy to make the building accessible will be a tax credit for you.

Please take the steps to ensure that your business is compliant, not just for the sake of the legislation, but so that you can offer your products and services to a wider group of consumers, and be more inclusive of everybody.

Many thanks to our new host and sponsor of Networking@Noon - OLG Slots at Georgian Downs.

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