Make your London small business more accessible

Make your London small business more accessible
Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

Posted: Wed 27th Dec 2023

Accessibility for people with disabilities is already a big part of London. From step-free Tube stations and ramps to handrails and priority seating, all these features help people make their way through the city.

Here's what your small business can do to be more accessible to current staff, new employees and customers.

Adapt your premises for employees

The law says that businesses must make "reasonable adjustments" for workers with disabilities. This is so staff members who have a disability, physical or mental health condition aren't at a disadvantage and can do their jobs.

Here are some reasonable adjustments you can make to your premises:

  • Installing ramps for people who use a wheelchair.

  • Reserving car parking spaces near the entrance.

  • Providing screen readers that read out text for employees with sight loss.

  • Allowing deaf workers to communicate by email and text rather than phone.

  • Providing flexible hours or part-time working.

Hire disabled talent

If you need new staff, your job adverts should reach as many people as possible. Everyone should feel they have the same chance to apply for the role. You don't want to miss out on talented individuals who will benefit your business.

Job interviews

If a person with disabilities applies, you don't always need to adapt your interview process. But if a prospective candidate tells you they have a disability, ask if you can make any changes to support them.

Make the interview process as accessible as you can. Using video conferencing software (like Zoom or Teams) could be your best option.

If you run the interview in person, give the candidate all the information they need. Tell them where you're holding the interview and whether there are any steps or stairs. Think about using a ground-floor room or choosing a venue near a Tube station with step-free access.

Here are some other ways to make the interview more accessible:

  • Providing the questions on paper, just before the interview – for someone with a cognitive impairment.

  • Using a quiet room with no background noise – for someone with a hearing impairment.

  • Making sure the room is well lit – for someone with a visual impairment.

  • Facing the candidate and speaking clearly – for someone with a hearing impairment who lip reads.

Keep in mind that asking a candidate questions about their disability or health in an interview is against the law. Instead, focus on the job you're recruiting for and on the candidate's skills and experience. And remember that not all disabilities are visible.

Appeal to all customers

Being accessible for people with disabilities isn't just the right thing to do, it can also help increase your sales. Did you know that disabled households in the UK have a spending power of £274 billion a year? It's called the Purple Pound.

You can make your business premises more accessible by fitting ramps and providing reserved parking spaces. You can also install accessible seating and toilets. At the same time, be sure to train staff on how to welcome and support all customers.

If you have an online business, think about making your website accessible for people with visual or hearing impairments. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Use alt text to describe images so screen readers can read them.

  • Provide subtitles and audio description on video content.

  • Use a simple font that's easy to read and at least 12 points in size.

  • Use colours with sufficient contrast between the text and background.

  • Write an accessibility statement explaining how people with disabilities can use your website.

Useful resources

Find more helpful guidance on making your London business more accessible:


Want to learn more? Take our free personalised Business Success Check. Answer a few simple questions and receive an action plan on other ways you can welcome new customers and boost your sales.


Grow London Local: Support for London's small businesses

Grow London Local: Support for London's small businesses

No matter where you're based in London, you'll find relevant support and guidance on business planning, sales and marketing and much more, as well as opportunities to connect with like-minded business owners. Visit Grow London Local now

Grow London Local
Grow London LocalMatching London small businesses to support

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