Inclusive Business

If you run a business, the Accept Difference campaign on the Mid North Coast of NSW encourages you to consider what inclusive actions you can take to remove barriers for people with disability. Through this illustration we are aiming for visitors to identify what makes are more inclusive environment by comparing two images. Both images consist of three people cuing to enter a doorway. The first person is using a wheel chair, the second is elderly and using a walking frame and the third is a female pushing a stroller. In one image the doorway has an open sign hanging from the door, but the door is shut. This doorway also has two steps leading up to it. In the other image the doorway is much wider, the doors are open, there is a small ramp and a smiling attendant stands beside the doorway with a welcome sign.

Getting Started

In simply reading this information, you are already on your way to becoming an inclusive business. But now you need to put disability inclusion into practice in your workplace.

A first step could be to have a staff brainstorming session on how to create a friendlier, more accessible environment for everyone. Disability is a common experience. Who knows, you just might have a staff member whose personal experience with disability could be a wealth of knowledge for you.

To get you thinking about inclusive practices in business, we have compiled a list of community suggestions for different services.


  • To prepare children in advance, have storyboards (a graphic cartoon) available for download from your website, depicting the experience of visiting your service (e.g. doctor, dentist, optometrist, children’s shoe store or anywhere where you may need to physically interact with a child with disability).
  • Have pictures of staff with their names available on your website and near the front door of your shop or service.
  • Paper hand towel dispensers in toilets, not automatic hand dryers.
  • Lower counter tops.
  • Accessible EFTPOS machines.
  • Consider investing in business cards with your printed details and additional braille engraving.


  • Set up cushions/bean bags in waiting rooms.
  • Courtesy call if wait times are long.


  • Start a system that allows parents to leave their trolley and know someone will process it for them and help to load groceries into the car.
  • Organise and promote a regular quiet hour, where you dim fluorescent lights, stop music and any loud announcements.
  • Display visual store maps.
  • More delivery options for click and collect.
  • Clearer produce labelling.
  • Accessible aisle – where basic needs are in an easy to reach location.
  • Provide Special Needs Trolleys at your supermarket. Check out this interview with mother Emily Kinney regarding the use of the trolleys and their benefits:

Download the Special Needs Trolleys Info PDF


  • If you run a cinema or theatre, consider offering ‘relaxed’ sessions for families with children with disability. During these sessions, leave the lights on low, turn the sound down, keep the door open for people to come and go and have a ‘chill out’ room available.


  • Lower counter tops in hotel reception areas.

Inspiring Inclusion

A truly inclusive organisation understands that inclusion is a learning journey that does not stop.

We have created a comprehensive PDF on Inclusive Business for you to download.

This document offers inspiring articles, interviews and presentations about businesses from all over the globe that are successfully engaging with their communities and meeting their needs through ground-breaking initiatives.

Download PDF

Access Consultants

Below are links to the websites of disability access consultants in NSW to help you on your way with disability inclusion and accessibility issues.

Inclusive Service Finder


Coffs Harbour

Early Connections Coffs Coast

13 Kane Crescent,
Coffs Harbour, 2450
P (02) 6652 8080
Visit Website

Manning and Great Lakes

Early Connections Manning & Great Lakes

33 Florence St,
P (02) 6552 7333
F (02) 6552 7333
Visit Website

Sporties Tuncurry

65 Beach St,
(02) 6554 9270
Visit Website

Lake Cathie Children’s Cottage

83 Kenwood Drive,
Lake Cathie
Ph: (02) 6586 3233
Visit Website

Hastings Port Macquarie

Early Connections Hastings Port Macquarie

41 Munster St,
Port Macquarie
P (02) 6583 8238

Port Macquarie Community College

77 Hastings River Dr,
Port Macquarie
P (02) 6583 7288
Visit Website

Endeavour Clubhouse

176 Hastings River Drive,
Port Macquarie
Ph: (02) 8315 1425
Fax: (02) 8315 1435 

Visit Website

Coles Supermarket

28 Hayward St,
Port Macquarie.


Early Connections Kempsey

32 Nicholson St,
P (02) 6562 6491

Nambucca Valley

Early Connections Nambucca Valley

1 Briner St,
P (02) 6568 4026

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