Going to a restaurant to try their specialties can be a fun and exciting experience. A huge number of individuals today love eating outdoors and they often bring their relatives, co-workers and loved ones. Everyone has the right to enjoy their meals regardless of their race or origin. The same can also be said with regards to the disabled community with many going restaurants to enjoy a meal with friends. It is good to hear that there exist requirements for restaurants in Australia in regard to providing access for the disabled. This include the inclusion of wheel chair ramps, disabled toilets & basins etc.
Catering for the Disabled: Making Establishments Friendlier
Disabled access for several establishments is a worldwide concern. In fact, earlier this year in Rio 2016, locals were frustrated by lack of disability access ahead of Paralympic Games. While the Games have improved infrastructure for people with disabilities, locals said the changes were unlikely to benefit them. This in turn makes it troublesome for athletes to perform their best as there are not enough facilities to back their endeavors up.
There is indeed a need to put into more effort in catering to the needs and preference of the disabled community. A recent survey of businesses undertaken by a number of disabled people has found that while improvements are needed at many businesses in the northern New South Wales town many are on the right track. Participant Catherine Rae said more needs to be done for visually impaired people. “Unfortunately there’s only one restaurant that has a Braille menu at this stage,” she said.
Not a lot of business owners however, are quite thrilled in adding the much needed amenities and services for their disabled customers. Coach House Restaurant got a ramp for wheelchairs only because of a petition that quickly got thousands of signatures. The restaurant emailed a genuine apology and had now bought a ramp as a result.
On a positive note, it is good to hear that there are restaurants who give the extra care and attention to their disabled customers. A mother with their disabled son shared a wonderful experience they have in Chick-fil-A. In a Facebook post she said, “Every time I come to this Chick-fil-A, I am so impressed. The employees are always friendly and courteous. On top of it, the employees turned a negative experience around for us.” A number of employees of Chick-fil-A went and played with her son when some boys in the area refused to play with him.
Technology has also gone a long way in making disability friendly services more accessible to a huge number of individuals in the present. This in turn makes it relatively for just about anyone to find disability services they need with most of them found over the internet. In addition, a software engineer and wheelchair user in Ireland is developing an app called Access Earth that allows people with mobility disabilities to rate restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions around the world based on how accessible they are. This data can then be used by others to reference upon their visit.