A partnership between the Tasmanian Small Business Council (TSBC) and Speak Out Association (a Tasmanian advocacy group dedicated to supporting the needs of intellectually disabled adults) has led to the development of a resource (Service Matters) to be used by small and medium businesses and remind them of some truths when dealing with people with a disability.

At the launch of the resource, TSBC Executive Officer, Robert Mallett said that ‘with the introduction of the NDIS and the increased capacity for people living with a disability to spend their money where they choose, there are far more customers for small businesses to service’.

‘Small businesses are very much about relationships and many develop close relationships with all their customers, including people with a disability. However, there is a high turnover rate with employees and this tool will enable business owners to remind themselves and their staff about some key aspects of serving people with a disability.’

‘The tool reminds service staff to relax and not be embarrassed, to speak to the person who is the customer, not the person with the disability and to speak clearly, not loudly.’

‘Political correctness has made people in the service sector wary of dealing with people with a disability in case they “get it wrong”. The only thing you can get badly wrong is to ignore them and leave them embarrassed, confused and vowing to never return to your premises,’ said Mr Mallett.

‘If the small business sector wants to start demonstrating that “Service Matters” they should be looking at the poster, talking about the messages with their staff and welcoming a huge percentage of the 23% of the Tasmanian population who have a disability as valued customers to their business.’

The colourful and informative A2 poster is available to download here. SpeakOut_ServiceMatters_Poster