11 Sep Breakfast with a better view
Choosing what to order off the menu at Sunday brunch can be a hard enough task as it is. In a world where every cafe has a list of food options as long as your arm and a selection of five different kinds of milk to have in your coffee – not to mention the ever-present risk of food envy FOMO – the simple act of placing an order can conjure a level of stress akin to competing in the Hunger Games.
But imagine trying to navigate the ordering process completely blind – having never been able to read the menu.
This is the reality for many cafe lovers who are blind or vision impaired.
Thanks to Uniting Ability Links, vision-friendly businesses are popping up around NSW to cater for this serious barrier to disability accessibility and inclusion. The Ability Links team is working to create awareness through their large-print and braille menu Vision Friendly Business Project, in partnership with Better Business Partnership and the NSW Business Chamber.
Flat Rock Brew Café in Naremburn is one business who has joined the project, offering vision-friendly menus to customers in large print and braille.
“The café has a real focus on beer,” says business owner Karl Riseborough. “That’s where my passion lies.”
“It’s important for me to be a business who gives back to the community. To be able to offer an experience for someone who may be vision impaired is a fantastic opportunity.”
For former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, the access changes these cafes are making are a simple way that blind and vision impaired people like him can feel welcomed and included during these simple, everyday moments of life.
“I rarely have the opportunity to read a menu myself,” said Graeme. “So I’m looking forward to visiting those businesses who’ve chosen to have braille and large print menus.”
“People with disabilities make up 20% of the market. And if you add older people to that, you’re talking about an even bigger slice of the market,” he said. “If you want to maximise your market share, then you will make your business accessible.”
Karl Riseborough says getting Flat Rock involved in the project was a no brainer.
“If I was talking to another business, I would ask them, ‘Why wouldn’t you get involved in this project?!’ he said. “From a business perspective, it’s straight forward.”
Watch more about the Uniting Ability Links Vision Friendly Business Project below.