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.
- 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.
- Ask open questions; questions that don’t have a simple yes or no answer.
- Check with the person that you understand what they are saying e.g. “the TV isn’t working? Is that right?”
- If the person wants to take you to show you something, go with them.
- Watch the person; they may tell you things by their body language and facial expressions.
- Learn from experience – you will need to be more observant and don’t feel awkward about asking parents or carers for their help.
- Try drawing – even if your drawing isn’t great, it might still be helpful.
- Take you time, don’t rush communication.
- 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.
- Be aware that some people find it easier to use real objects to communicate, but photos and pictures can really help too.