The number of people in the United States who have a disability top 43 million. This figure is only going to increase as the population grows older. Yet, disability is not only the result of the aging process. It can be from the onset of a disease, military service and a freak accident. These people deserve the best in life – including a visit to a hair salon where easy entry and handicap accessible sinks are a given not an exception.
Welcoming the Handicapped into your Salon
Handicapped people have special needs. They range across a variety of services and surfaces that able bodied people take for granted. It is important to address these issues before you open your salon to everybody. To accomplish this, you need to not only consider the laws that require you to provide access but also the means through which you can make a visit to the salon a pleasurable and safe experience.
Open Floor Space and Handicap Accessible Sinks
If you want your clients – all your clients – to be comfortable, you need to ensure that certain spaces are easily accessed. Customers must be able to move about freely. This will mean opening up the salon floor space. An open concept with no stairs, unless there is a ramp or an elevator, are a must. Those with wheelchairs, motorized scooters and walkers need to be able to get in and out of your establishment without becoming entangled in equipment or people.
Yet, making the space assessable does not necessarily make it friendly to your disabled or handicapped clients. This requires greater thought. It means, you need specialized equipment to handle their needs such as handicap accessible sinks and portable shampoos bowls. These are all pieces of equipment that will ensure disabled clients will receive the same treatment as your other patrons.
Providing handicapped people with easy access to your building and your work space is important. Providing them with equipment such as handicap accessible sinks is another means of ensuring they are treated with dignity and consideration. However, such measures alone will not make your salon handicapped friendly.
Attitude Is All
Remember these are not only your clients, they are humans. Do not ever treat them as otherwise. Do not act as if, because they require to use such things as handicap accessible sinks, they do not care about their appearance. This may be one way they have of making themselves feel emotionally as well as physically better.
Furthermore, if they are accompanied by someone who is not disabled, do not address this other individual. Talk to them. Sometimes you may have to make an effort to understand the speech pattern but a smile and compassion is sometimes better than all the phony words and platitudes combined.
The Disabled, Handicap Accessible Sinks and Salons
If you want to truly be a full-service salon, remove the barriers. Get rid of the physical and psychological obstacles. Remember we are all human after all. By doing more than opening up your work spaces and adding handicap accessible sinks, you are not only making a safe and comfortable environment for clients you are also treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve.