Community News

There’s a simple rule when it comes to business – the more people you get through the door, the more money you can potentially make. But by simply making the doors wider or adding hand-rails, businesses can get even more people (and money) through their doors, according to accessibility expert, Melissa James. Ms James spoke to small business representatives last week at accessibility workshops in Grafton and Yamba, hosted by Clarence Valley Council. According to Tourism Research Australia, the inclusive tourism market in Australia was worth $8.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Ms James said Clarence Valley businesses could tap into the lucrative market by mar-keting accessibility. In attendance at the workshop was Karen Watts, the Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba WHS and compliance officer. As a mother of twins, she knows firsthand how access issues can keep customers away. “I had a twin stroller and couldn’t get it into a lot of businesses so I just wouldn’t go in,” Mrs Watts said. On any given day patrons at Yamba’s bowling club are made up with a mixture of all ages and abilities. There are wheelchairs, walkers, mobility scooters and prams accessing all parts of the bowling club including the bowling greens, ten pin bowling alley, and mini golf. “At the workshop I was really interested to learn how we can get more people to the club by simply advertis-ing that we are accessible to everyone,” Mrs Watts said. “Most people have someone in their family who has a disability or are elderly or have small children – these are all people who are affected by access issues so we just need to let them know that they can come here and access our facilities.” Other tips Mrs Watts picked up at the workshop were simple ways to improve and market accessibility at the club’s motel, without spending a lot of money. “Our motel has one disabled room, but if we put hand rails in the bathrooms of the others, they will be acces-sible to more people,” Mrs Watts said. “We also have a shower chair available, so we need to let people know about these things through marketing.” A follow-up workshop on disability awareness training in customer service will be held in Grafton on Monday October 29 from 4-7pm. The free workshop will provide an insight into the peo-ple who make up the accessible tourism market; offer ways to ensure staff feel confident and comfortable when interacting with people with disabilities; increase customer satisfaction; and highlight how businesses can be good corporate citizens. All businesses are encouraged to send someone along. To register visit, https://bit.ly/2Pq2868accessible Photo Karen Watts from the Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba on the club’s mini golf course that is wheelchair and pram friendly. Image: Contributed

Opening businesses up to everyone

There’s a simple rule when it comes to business – the more people you get through the door, the more money you can potentially make.

But by simply making the doors wider or adding handrails, businesses can get even more people (and money) through their doors, according to accessibility expert, Melissa James.

Ms James spoke to small business representatives last week at accessibility workshops in Grafton and Yamba, hosted by Clarence Valley Council.

According to Tourism Research Australia, the inclusive tourism market in Australia was worth $8.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017. Ms James said Clarence Valley businesses could tap into the lucrative market by marketing accessibility.

In attendance at the workshop was Karen Watts, the Bowlo Sports and Leisure Yamba WHS and compliance officer.

As a mother of twins, she knows firsthand how access issues can keep customers away.

“I had a twin stroller and couldn’t get it into a lot of businesses so I just wouldn’t go in,” Mrs Watts said.

On any given day patrons at Yamba’s bowling club are made up with a mixture of all ages and abilities. There are wheelchairs, walkers, mobility scooters and prams accessing all parts of the bowling club including the bowling greens, ten pin bowling alley, and mini golf.

“At the workshop I was really interested to learn how we can get more people to the club by simply advertising that we are accessible to everyone,” Mrs Watts said.

“Most people have someone in their family who has a disability or are elderly or have small children – these are all people who are affected by access issues so we just need to let them know that they can come here and access our facilities.”

Other tips Mrs Watts picked up at the workshop were simple ways to improve and market accessibility at the club’s motel, without spending a lot of money.

“Our motel has one disabled room, but if we put hand rails in the bathrooms of the others, they will be accessible to more people,” Mrs Watts said. “We also have a shower chair available, so we need to let people know about these things through marketing.”

A follow-up workshop on disability awareness training in customer service will be held in Grafton on Monday October 29 from 4-7pm.

The free workshop will provide an insight into the people who make up the accessible tourism market; offer ways to ensure staff feel confident and comfortable when interacting with people with disabilities; increase customer satisfaction; and highlight how businesses can be good corporate citizens.

All businesses are encouraged to send someone along. To register visit, www.bit.ly/2Pq2868accessible

 

X