Guide

Disabled access and facilities in business premises

Provide auxiliary aids or services

An auxiliary aid is a piece of equipment or technology that can help a disabled person access your goods or services. An example would be an induction loop for people with hearing impairments. Auxiliary aids are not limited to communication - you might provide a portable ramp or handrails to help customers with mobility impairments.

Auxiliary service

An auxiliary service means providing assistance to help a disabled person to use your goods or services.

Examples of such services include:

  • training a member of staff in British Sign Language (BSL) so that they are able to communicate with customers who are hearing impaired and who use BSL as their main form of communication
  • helping a customer in a wheelchair to access goods which are out of their reach or bringing goods to the till if aisles cannot be accessed by wheelchair users

When considering what auxiliary aids or services are required, you will need to take into account that different people will have different requirements. Some people, for example, may have multiple disabilities, such as speech and hearing impairments.

Judging whether the aids and services are reasonable

You should take 'reasonable steps' to provide auxiliary aids and services. What is regarded as 'reasonable' for one business may be different for another. Whether the auxiliary aids and services you provide are judged as reasonable may depend on such things as:

  • the size of your business
  • the resources available to your business
  • the cost of providing the extra aid or service

In the event of a dispute only a court can decide what is reasonable.

Making permanent alterations to your premises

You may be required to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of your premises to ensure your services are accessible to disabled people. How to overcome physical barriers to access.