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Restaurant Customer Service and the ADA Developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Restaurant Customer Service and the ADA Developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Restaurant Customer Service and the ADA Developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 1

2 ADA Centers 10 regional Centers provide: Training Materials Newsletters Toll-free Technical Assistance Line: Voice/TTY Website: 2

3 What is the ADA? Americans with Disabilities Act, civil rights law passed in 1990 Prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by a variety of private businesses, including restaurants and hotels Goal: The full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of American society 3

4 Why was the ADA needed? Think back to before 1990… There were fewer curb cuts Many restaurants and other businesses were not accessible People with disabilities were rarely seen in advertisements and TV shows Interpreters were rarely used at public events People with disabilities were excluded from many activities due to barriers 4

5 ADA Quiz How many people with disabilities are there in the United States? 5

6 Answer At least 54 MILLION U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: 20 th Anniversary of the ADA July 26,

7 The Market 71% of adults with disabilities dine out at least once a week Open Doors Organization (ODO), Travel Industry Association of America (TIA),

8 How can we attract the market? 8

9 Examples of Accessibility Fire alarm signals with flashing lights Signs with Braille characters Reading materials out loud Exchanging written notes Reserved parking spaces No-step entrances Larger restroom stalls Self-service items within reach of seated people 9

10 Brainstorm Accommodations DISABILITY Mobility impairment / wheelchair user Blindness Deafness Psychiatric disability Intellectual disability Diabetes Learning disability Short stature ACTIVITY Make a reservation Self-seating Read the menu Place an order Use self-serve stations Find or use the restroom 10

11 Customer who is Deaf/Hard of Hearing Write notes back and forth Speak clearly and dont cover your mouth Use gestures and body language If someone is interpreting for a customer, speak directly to the customer, not the person interpreting 11

12 Telephone Relay System 12 A communications assistant relays telephone conversations for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities

13 Customer who is Blind/has Low Vision Provide print information in large print, Braille, or audio formats Read menus or receipts to the customer Offer directions to different areas of the restaurant, such as restrooms, bar Offer assistance with self-serve items Assist with finding signature line on credit card slips 13

14 Being a Sighted Guide Images Copyright © 2006 Earl Dotter and American Foundation for Blind 14

15 Customer Using a Wheelchair Do not lean on a persons wheelchair while talking to them Ensure that wheelchair accessible seating is available and conveniently located Ensure that items in self-serve stations are reachable 15

16 Customer with a Speech Disability Dont pretend you understand Ask the person to repeat what was said Be willing to write notes back and forth Do not shout or raise your voice If the person uses a computer to talk, continue to have a normal conversation Picture Communication Symbols© by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission. Boardmaker is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC., P.O. Box 1579, Solana Beach, CA 92075,

17 Customer with an Intellectual Disability Dont make assumptions about what the person can or cannot do Explain things clearly and be willing to repeat if asked 17

18 Customer with a Service Animal The ADA requires you to allow service animals on the premises even if you have a no animals policy Service animals are working animals and you should not pet or distract them People with all types of disabilities use service animals 18

19 Disability Etiquette Review Dont lean on a persons wheelchair Speak directly to the person, not to an interpreter or companion Dont make assumptions – ask if they need help THINK: CUSTOMER 19

20 Talking about Disability Avoid terms like the disabled. Instead say people with disabilities. Avoid the word handicapped. Instead say person with a disability or accessible (if referring to parking, restrooms, etc.). 20

21 Talking about Disability, cont. Do not say wheelchair bound or confined to a wheelchair. Instead say person who uses a wheelchair or wheelchair user. Wheelchair bound? 21

22 Scenario Someone calls your restaurant and asks if it is accessible for people with disabilities. What would you say? 22

23 The Bottom Line When you meet a person with a disability, THINK: CUSTOMER! 23

24 For More Information… 24 Contact us: National Network of ADA Centers Nationwide toll-free number: V/TTY ( ADA) Funding provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education


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