Paul Omodei

Paul Omodei


    Broome businesses encouraged to improve services to customers with disabilities

    27/09/2000 9:25 AM

    An initiative to encourage tourist, hospitality, retail and entertainment operators in Broome to improve the services and facilities offered to their customers with disabilities has been launched locally today by Disability Services Minister Paul Omodei.

    The Disability Services Commission's ‘You Can Make a Difference to Customer Relations for People with Disabilities’ video and training package provides key industries with advice on the needs of customers with disabilities.

    “With tourism in Broome continuing to grow by up to six per cent annually, the training package will assist local businesses to provide a quality service to locals and visitors alike,” Mr Omodei said.

    “Disability touches the lives of half a million Western Australians with more than 355,500 people having disabilities - or 19 per cent of the population - and a further 200,000 people providing primary care.

    "People with disabilities are a significant part of the community so it is vital that businesses recognise the needs of customers with disabilities and trains staff to meet those needs.

    "All too often, people with disabilities encounter access barriers, both physical and attitudinal, which prevent them from participating fully in their local community.

    "It is unacceptable that people with disabilities are unable to access services and facilities that are available to the rest of the community and it makes good business sense to adapt services to meet their needs.

    "Good customer service doesn't have to be costly or complex and is an excellent way to improve the quality of life of customers with disabilities.”

    The training package was developed by the Disability Services Commission and consists of:
    • a comprehensive 15-minute video, designed for trainers and staff who have had little contact with customers with disabilities;
    • a handbook of five training modules which challenge customer service providers to explore issues of physical access, language and discrimination against customers with disabilities; and -
    • a PowerPoint presentation to accompany the course.

    The video includes personal experiences from customers with disabilities and has been designed to integrate into existing training courses, or used individually for in-house training.

    During his two days in Broome, Mr Omodei will also be promoting the Disability Services Commission’s new five-year Business Plan, Making a Difference, which provides an additional $34.5 million over the next five years for services and support for people with disabilities, their families and carers.

    Mr Omodei said that for the first time, 26 per cent of funds would be allocated for services in country regions where 26 per cent of Western Australians with disabilities lived.

    He is also meeting local families and the Regional Advisory Forum to discuss local issues.

    Media contacts:

    Owen Cole on 9481 7810 or
    Chris Maher on 9192 1144