Scottish businesses encouraged to embrace new tech to help disabled people

Founder of Neatebox, Gavin Neate with a welcome user

A SCOTTISH, which was created to improve accessibility for disabled people, has now been downloaded by more than 2,000 individuals across the UK and Ireland.

‘Welcome’ by Neatebox, created by former guide dog mobility instructor and disability campaigner Gavin Neate, allows users to notify venues ahead of their arrival and request additional support if needed.

To date, it has been adopted by a number of high-profile locations, from Edinburgh Airport to the Scottish Parliament and Jenners, but more venues are needed to service the growing user base.

Welcome is transforming the way services for disabled people are delivered by improving communication between the visitor and the venue making visits more appealing and enjoyable. It has also shown to boost online reviews and improve staff morale as employees feel more comfortable when interacting with disabled customers.

Visionary, Gavin Neate, founder of Neatebox

Founder, Gavin Neate said: “Imagine a hard of hearing person was able to communicate that they required a quiet area to be set aside before their arrival or a blind or visually impaired guide dog owner was able to ensure that staff knew how to behave around their assistance dog.

“For those living with hidden conditions, it can understandably feel uncomfortable declaring this in a public space but, if it is important to their visit, they can let the customer service team know confidentially in advance.

“Having this type of advance knowledge helps businesses build relationships with their customers.

“We have achieved great success with Welcome and the feedback from users has been inspiring. However, we need to enhance our portfolio of venues to meet the needs of our growing user base.

“I’ve seen businesses making the same mistakes repeatedly when providing their services to disabled customers, from ignoring the person altogether, speaking only to their carer, to making inaccurate assumptions about the support they require. That’s why I founded Neatebox and developed the Welcome App.

“Using simple tech, Welcome ensures users get the respect they deserve, and staff feel more comfortable in their interactions. Everyone wins.”

Figures from leading charity Scope estimate disabled people spend around £249 Billion each year in the UK. Welcome allows businesses to open their services to more customers than ever before and potentially unlock increased revenue

Staff at registered premises will be notified ahead of a visit and will be able to make necessary arrangements, whether it’s greeting customers personally at the door or simply ensuring wheelchair users have a table reserved in an accessible area. Welcome also caters for the millions who have a hidden disability by providing venues with tips on conditions such as autism, dementia or epilepsy

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