Equality Act (2010)
Employment Statutory Code of Practice
Physical features will include signs
Clear glass doors at the end of a corridor in a particular workplace present a hazard for a visually impaired worker. This is a substantial disadvantage caused by the physical features of the workplace.
An auxiliary aid is something which provides support or assistance to a disabled person. It can include provision of a specialist piece of equipment such as an adapted keyboard or text to speech software. Auxiliary aids include auxiliary services; for example, provision of a sign language interpreter or a support worker for a disabled worker.
Where the workforce includes people sharing a protected characteristic who experience disadvantage within the workplace because of limited English, employers could consider taking proportionate positive action measures to improve their communication skills. These measures might include providing:
Interpreting and translation facilities; for example, multilingual safety signs
and notices, to make sure the workers in question understand health and safety requirements
Goods and Services Making access to goods and services easier for disabled customers
Meeting the needs of your disabled customers
Disabled customers can benefit from a range of improvements, some of which can be relatively easy to
implement, such as clearer signs.
Customers with visual impairments or learning disabilities, for example, may have more difficulty identifying
the premises and the entrance door than other customers.
Clearer signs: could there be clearer signs directing people to the entrance or on the premises itself saying
what is in the building and also identifying the premises by street name and number and telephone number?
Locating an alternative entrance: If some disabled customers access your premises by an entrance other
than the one normally used by other customers – and it is not practical to make this the main entrance for all
customers – could the alternative entrance be more clearly signed?
Finding the way around
How easily would disabled customers – particularly those with visual impairments or learning disabilities – orientate themselves in your premises, be able to locate goods or service points they want to find, and move around safely?
Bear in mind that logically planned and well-lit premises– with good, clear signs and use of colour contrast in internal decoration – are likely to benefit all customers.
Making signs easier to read: could you use more signs or use them more effectively in your premises? Signs that work best are:
Simple and short
Easily read and understood with clear typefaces in a
Mixture of upper and lower case
Well-contrasted with background (ie with strong contrast of light and dark between lettering and background)
Supplemented by visual/pictorial symbols.
Signs with glass in front of them can be hard to read because of light reflection, and lettering applied directly onto glass can be difficult to read depending on what is beyond the glass. Ensure that new signs integrate with the existing signs and that signs are replaced correctly after being removed for redecoration.
• Using different colours effectively: colour can be used creatively to help some customers with visual
impairments who may see ‘blocks’ of colour more easily than identify detail. Compared to a monotone
colour scheme, they will find it easier to move around independently if floors, walls, ceilings and doors are
distinguished from each other using contrasting colours or light and dark tones of the same colour. A practical tip for assessing colour contrast is to take a black-and-white photograph and see how easy it is to distinguish between different coloured surfaces.