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Shopping - Bay Area ADA consultantMaking Shopping Easy (and Fun) for Your Customers in 2023!

As the busy holiday shopping season is behind us and we look to the New Year, it is important to remember that your customers with disabilities require some modifications to your normal way of doing things. If you found that shopping may have been difficult for some of your customers, you are not alone! As we start the New Year, now is the time to look around and see what enhancements can be made to improve the shopping experience for your customers with disabilities. Most of the accommodations are minor adjustments but make a significant difference to your customers with disabilities. Some examples include:

● Ensure that your employees understand the importance of being friendly, respectful and helpful to all your customers.

● Train your employees to assist customers using walkers, wheelchairs, etc. by retrieving merchandise from high shelves or carrying their large or heavy items to the check-out counter and to their car.

● Customers with intellectual disabilities may need assistance from employees in understanding product labels or instructions.

● Provide your customers with mart-carts that are clean and in good repair.

● Be willing to accept alternative forms of identification for checks or credit card verification. Keep in mind that some disabilities may disqualify your customer from getting a driver’s license.

● Modify dressing room policies to allow more than one person at a time in the room to provide for a companion’s assistance.

● In a restaurant, customers may need assistance carrying a tray or cutting their food into bite-sized pieces.
The ADA allows business owners to decide what reasonable accommodations a person with disabilities may need. A reasonable accommodation may simply be to provide customers with some extra assistance when needed or requested. “The ADA does not expect a business to change policies and procedures that would cause a “fundamental alteration” in the nature of their goods or services, would undermine safe operation of the business, or would cause a “direct threat” to the health or safety of others.” Businesses must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the business where customers are normally allowed to go.

It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the ADA guidelines, and I am sure your intention, is to ensure that your customers have the opportunity to purchase your merchandise and enjoy their shopping experience. Bill Holl is an experienced Bay Area ADA Consultant with over 30 years architectural experience in the Bay Area and beyond. Give him a call today to schedule your Bay Area ADA consultation and make your customers and business Happy and safe for all. We specialize in ADA compliance services in South Bay cities including San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Campbell and more. He also provides ADA compliance consulting throughout most areas of California including Monterey, Carmel, Santa Cruz, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Give us a call today to schedule your next consultation, and let us keep your business protected from fines and lawsuits.

Happy New Year and Happy Shopping To All!