Meeting the Needs of Disabled Clients
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How to make your clinic more accessible.
The wider beauty industry, including aesthetics, has made efforts to become more inclusive of disabled people in recent years, but there is still a long way to go. Historically, the beauty industry has often focused on able-bodied, conventionally attractive standards of beauty, which has left many disabled individuals feeling marginalised or excluded.
However, there has been an increasing recognition of the need for representation and inclusivity within the industry. Some brands have taken steps to feature models and spokespersons with disabilities in their campaigns, showcasing the diversity of beauty. 
Additionally, there are now beauty influencers and content creators with disabilities who have gained visibility and are advocating for greater representation.
Despite these positive steps, there is still progress to be made in ensuring that the industry fully embraces and represents people with disabilities. This includes not only increasing visibility but also addressing the systemic barriers that may prevent individuals with disabilities from fully participating in the industry as consumers, employees, or business owners.
With 16 million disabled people in the UK, according to Scope, the disability equality charity in England and Wales, it’s important that aesthetic clinics take steps to ensure that they are accessible. Here are some ways you can do that: 
1. Do an accessibility audit
Conduct an accessibility audit of your clinic premises to identify any barriers to access for people with disabilities. This can include issues such as narrow doorways, steep steps, or lack of accessible parking.
2. Think about the way you are communicating 
Make sure all communication channels are accessible, including your website and social media channels. This could include providing captions on video content for those who are hard of hearing or making sure you use alt text attributes to describe the content of images on your website. This allows people who use screen readers to understand the visual content. 
3. Train your staff 
Train your staff in disability awareness and sensitivity. This will help them understand the needs of people with disabilities and how to provide appropriate support and assistance.
4. Wheelchair accessibility
Ensure that the clinic is wheelchair accessible, including providing accessible parking, ramps, and lifts.
5. Signage
Install clear and visible signage throughout the clinic, including Braille signage, to help people with visual impairments navigate the premises.
6. Assistive technology
Invest in assistive technology such as hearing loops, screen readers, and text-to-speech software to help people with disabilities access your services.
7. Ask for feedback
Encourage feedback from people with disabilities to help you identify any areas of improvement and make necessary changes to ensure accessibility.
Becoming more inclusive is an ongoing journey that requires continued advocacy, education, and awareness to achieve true representation for disabled people. By taking steps such as those above, aesthetic clinics can ensure that they are more accessible to people with disabilities and provide an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
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