New Irish standard on Universal Design for customer engagement in tourism services

Europe, Universal Design, August 19 2013

A new Irish standard (I.S.) 373:2013 entitled, ‘Universal Design for customer engagement in tourism services’ was launched on the 30th May 2013. The standards published by the National standards Authority of Ireland was a result of a collaborative project between the National Disability Authority, the Equality Authority and Failte Ireland.

This Irish Standard, which is voluntary, provides an industry best-practice reference on design requirements for the application of Universal Design by Tourism Service Providers. It outlines Universal Design requirements that facilitate positive customer engagement through the provision of products and services for communications that can be easily accessed, understood and used by tourism customers. The categories of communications include written communications, face-to-face communications and electronic/web-based communications.

This Irish Standard is intended to enable tourism providers to communicate more effectively with a wider range of tourists and has the potential to grow the tourist market for Irish tourism. Universal Design for customer engagement extends beyond a focus on disability and special needs to include all people, regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

The Scope of this Irish Standard is to provide requirements and guidance on Universal Design, for tourism service providers, in the provision of tourism products communications and tourism services communications and to assist Tourism Service Providers to make their products and services for communications more accessible and usable by as many people as possible without the need for additional adaptation or specialised design. It is not the intention of the standard to be used as a basis for tourism service provider associated ratings, awards schemes, certifications and accreditations.

A Toolkit has also been developed as part of the development of the standard.  The aim of the Toolkit is to help you apply the guidance provided in the standard. It provides  practical and useful guidance on how to use Universal Design as a tool for better engaging with your customers.

Click here to download the Standard and the Toolkit free.

By Eoin O’Herlihy
O’Herlihy Access Consultancy

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