Increasing accessibility is good for our 13,000 disabled islanders, 4,000 carers and visitors, and for your business too. Access is a very broad topic and involves changes to the physical environment such as installing ramps and accessible bathrooms and improving lighting and acoustics, but also customer service, information and activities.

  1. Find a good place to communicate in – somewhere without distraction. If you are talking to a large group be aware that some people may find this difficult.
  2. Ask open questions; questions that don’t have a simple yes or no answer.
  3. Check with the person that you understand what they are saying e.g. “the TV isn’t working? Is that right?”
  4. If the person wants to take you to show you something, go with them.
  5. Watch the person; they may tell you things by their body language and facial expressions.
  6. Learn from experience – you will need to be more observant and don’t feel awkward about asking parents or carers for their help.
  7. Try drawing – even if your drawing isn’t great, it might still be helpful.
  8. Take you time, don’t rush communication.
  9. Use gestures and facial expressions. If you’re asking if someone is happy or unhappy, make your facial expression unhappy to reinforce what you’re saying.
  10. Be aware that some people find it easier to use real objects to communicate, but photos and pictures can really help too.

The information in this leaflet was provided by Mencap