Liberate are reminding Jersey organisations that they have until 1 September 2020 to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features in their premises in order to make them accessible for people with disabilities.
Liberate’s Accès scheme is designed to help organisations to meet their obligations under the law by offering an accessibility audit of their premises and training for employees on how to improve inclusion for people with disabilities, whether they are customers or employees.
Paddy Haversham-Quaid, CXO of Liberate, said: “A number of organisations have said to us that they aren’t sure what a ‘reasonable’ adjustment is for their business, and many fear that adjustments will cost them a lot of money. Accès provides an independent view that helps organisations navigate the process of making those adjustments”.
Liberate was also keen to involve Jersey’s disabled community in the scheme. Paddy said: “We have a group of Accessibility Ambassadors, with different disabilities, who are assisting us with the audits and acting as mystery shoppers”.
Liberate are currently working with the Channel Islands Co-Operative Society, who have signed up to the Accès scheme, to audit all their stores across the Channel Islands.
Dave Chalk, Chief Operating and Risk Officer at the Co-Op, said: “As a community retailer we have always prided ourselves on being accessible for all and are delighted to continue our partnership with Liberate, by being the first retailer to sign up to their new Accès scheme.
“Accès is aimed at increasing education around accessibility, and Liberate will provide training for our colleagues, as well as working with their Accessibility Ambassadors to review our store estate and provide input in how we can improve access for all of our members and customers. We welcome the audit and will continue to keep our stores accessible for all islanders with disabilities”.
Liberate’s hope is that, as the Accès scheme grows, the kitemark will become a trusted symbol for people in Jersey with a disability.