Reported by Express – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

A FIRM has hailed their new app for finally allowing shops and tourist hotspots to know disabled customers are arriving – and how to help them.

Scottish tech company Neatebox’s ‘Welcome’ app allows users to notify staff ahead of their arrival and request support if needed. The app, founded by ex-guide dog instructor Gavin Neate, has already been adopted by high-profile stores and venues across Britain. Its comes on ‘Purple Tuesday’ today organised by the disability organisation ‘Purple’, when firms vow to meet disabled customers’ needs.

But despite the day being welcome by disability groups, they hope the new ‘Welcome’ app means disabled customers’ needs are met all year round.

Mr Neate said his app covers a wide variety of physical, visible disabilities 0 but crucially also ‘hidden’ mental conditions too.

He said: “Social access to a venue is important, just like physical access.

“Even if you can enter, people may still discriminate against you. Staff need to understand how to interact with everyone.”

Users of the app plan a visit by searching through the current UK shops, tourist sites and community areas that offer the Welcome service.

They are then shown the stores opening times, accessibility features and assistance provided at the store.

After selecting ‘going’, the user will then select the date and time they are making a visit – giving a two hour warning to the venue.

It then gives options to pick what assistance is needed, and there is an option to enter what you want to do on your visit.

On confirming the booking, an alert is then sent to the store where they receive information about the visitor’s disability and how to help them.

The app uses mobile phone location settings so staff are alerted when the disabled customer is nearby.

Not only has the app been a huge benefit to disabled people but stores have seen improvements in service and feedback.

Alan Thomlinson, manager of House of Fraser Jenners in Edinburgh, noticed some customer feedback has rocketed from ‘one’ to ‘five’ star reviews.




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