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Want to stay on the right side of the law? We support businesses and public authorities and help them to promote good practice.



Where to find further help and technical advice:
  • Disability awareness / equality training - The Equality Commission provides information about training, policy development, and disability codes of practice.
  • Disability Action NI - provides a range of services for disabled people, their families and their carers and are a useful source of information on disability issues.
  • Local access groups - There are many around the country and your council may have details about your local group.
  • Professional access audits - For access audit reports and access advice on making reasonable adjustments, a professional registered access auditor is recommended – visit the National Register of Access Consultants



Resources from conference (10 March 2016)

Useful organisations:
Every Customer Counts logo
< Related publications
< Every customer counts
< Disability - what does the law say?
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Signees to the Every Customer Counts initiative include:


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Good practice case studies

Private Sector:

Specsavers, Newtownards

Leigh Nelson, a director of Specsavers, Newtownards, gives her account of steering her branch through the Every Customer Counts process and what it achieved for her business.

The modifications to her business were predominantly to do with how they offer their service, making sure that all staff have the training, the ability and the willingness to engage with all sorts of customers. Physical adaptations were minimal.


Knock Travel

Doreen McKenzie, from Knock Travel (now Oasis Travel), Newtownards, explains how they changed their premises to make them more accessible for everyone.

Providing good service and meeting the needs of their customers was vitally important, so they undertook an audit, talked to their customers, delivered training to their staff and put a plan in place. The changes were not difficult and have delivered tangible benefits for both customers and the business.


Todds Leap

Todds Leap outdoor activity centre offers a range of activities to suit all age groups.

Ben O'Hanlon, explains how they made various adjustments to cater for customers with disabilities. Even small changes can be of great benefit to disabled people. He said, "It's important to put a smile on their face just like everyone else. All customers count, all people count."


Public Sector:

Libraries NI

Libraries NILibraries NI in partnership with voluntary organisations actively seeks to promote their services to disabled people and thereby increase the number of disabled people using library services. Libraries NI sees this as an important part of ensuring that disabled people can participate in the social, economic and political life of our community and is therefore an important part of being socially integrated.

Outreach initiatives taken by Libraries NI, designed to increase the participation rates of disabled clients include:

  • ‘Rhythm and Rhyme’ for children with autism
  • Provision of dementia friendly services
  • Provision of accessible mobile libraries
  • ‘Knit and Natter’ for people with mental ill health
  • Craft activities for people with learning disabilities.

Learn more about NI Libraries' good practice
Photo caption: Equality Commission Chief Executive Dr Evelyn Collins with Ormeau Library user Jenny Coeman and Libraries NI Chief Executive Irene Knox

Health and Social Care Sector

Making communication accessible launchThe Health and Social Care sector in Northern Ireland recently launched a new piece of Guidance for staff. The guide 'Making Communication Accessible for All: A Guide for Health & Social Care (HSC)Staff' will assist health sector staff to make sure that people using health services have access to the appropriate communication methods that they need, thus assisting disabled people in accessing services.

Development of the guide was led by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with the Health and Social Care Trusts, the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), Public Health Agency (PHA), Business Services Organisation, the NI Ambulance Service and partners from the community and voluntary sectors.

Welcoming the development of this valuable guide, Orla Barron, Health and Social Inequalities Manager at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, said:
“One in 5 people will experience communication difficulties at some point in their lives.  Inclusive communication reduces barriers which are often created through people simply not knowing how to communicate effectively.  This guide aims to give staff practical tips and advice that will establish good practice and mean improved health outcomes for people with communication support needs and the wider community.  Producing the guide with the community and voluntary sector was essential as the partnership working meant that people with expert knowledge and first-hand experience could influence this good practice resource for staff”.

The guidance provides practical advice and support to staff by signposting for example, how to access sign language interpreters. It assists staff to think about the many different ways to effective communication i.e. speaking, writing, sign language, photographs, pictures, symbols, objects, electronic aids, as well as non-verbal communications including facial expressions, body language, sounds and gestures.

Photo caption: pictured at the recent launch at Knockbracken Healthcare Park, Belfast, are users of health and social care services, pictured with reps from Belfast, Southern and South Eastern HSC Trusts, the Equality Commission NI, the RNIB, Mencap, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, and the Public Health Agency.

NI Assembly

Christine Watts from the Northern Ireland Assembly explains they made their services more Autism friendly

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