Last week I was lucky enough to travel on the fantastic TranzAlpine train. Travelling from Christchurch through the Southern Alps, across to Greymouth on our beautiful West Coast, the carriages were comfortable with large windows for enjoying the views and a great cafe, serving food far removed from the railway pies of old!
However as well as enjoying the views and the train ride, I was also on board to find out more about Be.Accessible. An independent social enterprise, Be.Accessible work to inspire and ensure a 100% accessible society for all New Zealanders. As their philosophy and practices very much complement those of WorkSpace IQ, I have trained and been accredited as a Be.Accessible assessor.
Why were we on board the train though? Well, KiwiRail has recognised the importance of ensuring that their business is accessible for all their customers who may have mobility issues, visual or hearing impairment and even those who speak a different language. To this end, they have a carriage with ramps allowing wheelchairs to be moved onto the train, a carriage with space especially for two wheelchairs users and anyone who may be travelling with them and a spacious and easily accessible toilet.
As well as spaces and places, Be.Accessible also look at other accessibility issues. For example, how accessible the information about your business is. Can people find information they need on your website or through suitable promotional material?
There are many reasons why making your business accessible to all is important and as the population ages, this is going to become increasingly more so.
While in a local sense with the new office rebuild taking place, this is a great time for businesses in Christchurch to be looking at accessibility, it is also something to be taken into account wherever you are in the world.
Making our environment more universally accessible is not a difficult process and often just a few simple changes are all that’s needed to make all the difference to ease of access for everyone (for example, putting a less strong spring on a self closing door).
Take a look in and around your workplace environment. What’s one simple change you can make for the better?
To find out more about how to make your business more accessible, contact me directly to discuss your particular needs.