Coronavirus safety restrictions mean that many shops, businesses and services are going to have controlled access and more queues, both inside and outside the shops. Many disabled people find queues very difficult. Some disabled people, eg those with sticks or crutches, can’t physically easily stand in line. Other disabled people, for example people with autism, dementia or learning disability, find the idea of queuing hard to understand and can’t tolerate the wait.
Disabled people don’t want to jump the queue and get fast-track access. That makes them feel uncomfortable and they are often abused because of what others see as ‘privileged’ treatment. It’s also hard and sometimes awkward for shop staff to know who should get fast-track access. That’s why BuDS recommends a Q-Card system rather than offering disabled people fast-track access.
The BuDS Q-Card system is really simple.
- You put up posters (which you can download below) saying that you have a Q-Card system for disabled people. These need to be where people joining the queue will easily see them, so you may need more than one. They also make your business look good!
- You print off and laminate some ‘Place Holder’ and ‘Place Held’ Q-cards (which you can download below) and keep them at your business or service entrance or reception, or at the till. As a guide to numbers, maybe 1 in 10 people queuing might need one.
- The disabled person arrives at the queue and sees the poster and comes to the entrance, reception or till, or maybe you spot them approaching and go to meet them. You give the disabled person a pair of sanitised Q-Cards. They keep the ‘Place Held’ card and give the ‘Place Holder’ card to the person at the end of the queue.
- The disabled person with the ‘Place Held’ card can then wait nearby but outside the queue, somewhere that works for them. This might be on a nearby seat if you can offer this.
- When the person in the queue with the ‘Place Holder’ card gets to the front of the queue, they hand the card to whoever is controlling access or the till operator. The staff member then calls out for the disabled person with the ‘Place Held’ card, saying something like ‘Place Held number X, please’.
- The disabled person then comes over, hands over the ‘Place Held’ card, and is served in their rightful turn.
- You collect the pair of cards, sanitise them, and re-use.
BuDS is giving away the Q-Card posters and cards free of charge – download them below. If you have any questions or would like any advice, please e-mail [email protected] or leave us a message on 01494 211179. You can also WhatsApp us on 07376917821 or message our Facebook page.