One in 5 Australians have a disability. These disabilities can be physical, mental, intellectual or sensory. Like everyone, people with disability want to take part in community life and buy goods and services.

Improving access to your business can support people with disability to take part, as well as increase your customers, membership, sales and business growth. 

What the law says about access

Everybody has the right to access public places such as shops, restaurants, cafes, offices and cinemas. The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 requires businesses to adjust their premises so they are accessible to people with disability. If a person with disability can't get into your building or access the goods and services you provide, they can make a complaint under Victorian or Australian law.

Tips for good accessibility

To improve access to your business, you need to think about different disabilities. You can talk with experts and people with lived experience of disability to understand the different needs. You can also think about attitude and communication, and building and design to improve the accessibility of your business. Below are some questions you might consider when improving access.

Attitudes and communication 

  • Are staff respectful, welcoming and helpful towards all customers?
  • Have staff had disability awareness training? 
  • Do you employ people with disability?
  • Do staff know how to communicate effectively with people with different disabilities?
  • Do staff know where the nearest accessible facilities are such as toilets, car parks and seating?
  • Is there clear signage for facilities such as counters, toilets and change rooms?
  • Is your website easy to read and accessible?
  • Does your website provide information about the products, services and access available?
  • Are your menus, advertising and promotional material clear and in an easy-to-read font?

Building and design

  • Is there step-free access to your business? 
  • Can a person using a pram, stroller, wheelchair, scooter or other mobility aid easily move through the aisles and around shop displays?
  • Are all the facilities you provide, such as toilets and fitting rooms, large enough to be used easily by everyone?
  • Do you have a low customer counter?
  • Is there effective lighting, non-slip floor surfaces and are glass doors clearly marked to avoid accidents? 
  • Can all parts of a building be reached or are there steps or other barriers? 
  • Is there carpet, curtains or ceiling tiles to help reduce noise in customer service areas?
  • Is background music at a low enough volume? 
  • Is accessible parking located close by? 
  • Are there accessible pathways between the parking area and your business? 
  • Are the doorways wide, self-opening or easy-to-open doors? 

More information and resources

Your legal responsibilities

Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission

Phone: 1300 292 153

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission website

Australian Human Rights Commission 

Phone: 1300 369 711

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

Building and plumbing

Victorian Building Authority 

Phone: 1300 815 127

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

Employing people with disability

Job Access

Phone: 1800 464 800

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Job Access website

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