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True Life | I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury
It's a major cause of death and disability world wide. And, the result for victims are usually catastrophic and unpredictable. On this episode of True Life, you'll meet three young men trying desperately to recover after their lives were shattered by traumatic injuries to their brains.
Since a terrible motorcycle accident two years ago, Adam can no longer retain information for more than a brief moment,. And, he sometimes thinks the entire world around him is an illusion. Adam's family is committed to his recovery, but is there anything that can be done to make his brain better again?
Donnie's functionality continues to improve even three years after a car accident that nearly killed him. But, his short-term problem may derail his ability to regain independence. Will the return to college be a monumental step for Donnie, or just another impossible dream?
Eight months after being severely harmed in a car accident, Neil can not recognize faces and appears flat and robotic. Can he overcome his impaired social skills in order to reconnect with his friends?
Their progress is achingly slow, but they are also not about to give up. How much can these young men achieve? Find out next on True Life | I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury.
ADA and the "Spirit of the Law"
Is your organization interested in customer service and in keeping your audience base as it ages?
Market-focused business managers are moving beyond the compliance mindset to the realization that making their businesses and/or programs accessible to everyone is simply good customer service. These business owners and service providers are breaking new ground going beyond the “compliance” measures laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act and instead focus on customer needs and desires. They embrace the “spirit of the law” and use it as an effective marketing tool.
Visit stores, museums and other venues catering to families and senior citizens and you see subtle measures designed to increase the customer’s experience. Items addressed by accessibility laws are certainly present such as curb cuts, gently sloping ramps and automatic doors. But these basic, foundation accommodations are embraced as marketing tools to increase the “customer experience”. Lowered countertops allow patrons to easily complete transactions. Wider aisles allow scooter access while increasing merchandise visibility. Large easy to read signage reduces frustration in locating items. However, these businesses have found their niche by going beyond the basics.
Savvy business owners are learning low cost/no cost accommodations can increase customer satisfaction. Small tables strategically placed beside manually operated doors allow individuals to sit down packages while opening the door. Benches or chairs placed at regular intervals allow rest breaks. Brochures and other printed materials are printed in large plain script on non glossy paper. Background music is low and lights are bright in consideration of customers with hearing loss or vision impairments. Aisles are clear, chairs are pushed in under tables and loose merchandise is up off the floor whenever possible. Hotels are being built with low threshold showers, eliminating the seldom used, hard to clean bathtubs. Accessible “family bathrooms” have become a welcome standard in family friendly venues. Business owners who have focused on the “spirit of the law” have positioned their businesses to increase their customer base now and in the future.
Approach accessibility solutions as you would any other marketing effort and continually ask customers “what can I do to improve your experience?” You might be pleasantly surprised to discover new and easy ways to improve accessibility and increase your customer base. For additional ideas, contact your nearest Center for Independent Living.
Audrey Schremmer-Philip, Executive Director
Three Rivers Inc. Access to Independent Living
The controversies that have dominated efforts to better serve this population must be replaced with better communication and the creation of positive, productive partnerships between the state, people living with disabilities, providers and the larger community in which we all live."
Lt. Governor John Carney - Wilmington, DE