How to become a communication accessible business

Whether you run a bank or a bakery, a local council or a café, if you’re providing goods or services to customers then you’ll know how important it is to make your customer feel welcome and receive high levels of customer satisfaction. It’s part of the job.

To make people feel welcome, you need to communicate effectively with them. You might say, “Hi, how can I help you today?” or listen to a customer as they explain their enquiry.

These interactions – which might seem simple to you – can be hard for people who experience communication difficulties.

Whether they have difficulty speaking, understanding what you say or reading information, obstacles can get in the way of successful communication.

If you run a business, large or small, you have an opportunity to remove these barriers and make it easier for more people to communicate with you.

To help you get started, let’s take a look at some of the common questions about communication access.

What is communication access?

Communication access involves using tools and strategies to help people with communication difficulties to communicate successfully – that is, to get their message across to you, and to understand your responses.

With one in seven Australians experiencing communication difficulties at some point in their lives, it is important to take the time to learn how your business can become more communication accessible and inclusive.

By doing so, you will improve your customer and staff satisfaction.

That’s where Scope’s Communication Access team come in. They work with businesses to provide tailored solutions to be communication accessible. Our team can help you become a leader in access and inclusion by being accredited with the Communication Access Symbol.

Is there a way to recognise a communication accessible business?

Communication accessible business symbolAn accredited communication accessible business will have the Communication Access symbol clearly on display for customers to see. Anyone who sees this symbol will know that:

  • Your staff are welcoming and treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • Your staff have been trained to communicate successfully with people with communication difficulties
  • Communication tools are available to help people get their message across and understand what people are telling them

The Communication Access Symbol has been endorsed by National and International organisations including International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC),  National Disability Services (NDS) and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Since 2011, more than 150 businesses and services nationally have been accredited with the Communication Access Symbol. 

How can you become more Communication Accessible?

A great place to start is by taking our short quiz on communication access

Even if you don’t tick all the boxes in the quiz, it’s sure to get you thinking about some of the things you can do to become more communication accessible for people with communication difficulties.

Scope’s Communication Access team will work closely with you to identify your needs and support you on your journey to becoming communication accessible.  

Click here for more information about Communication Access or to organise an assessment of your business or organisation. Learn more about the journey to becoming communication accessible by watching this video.