Disabled Provide Customer Base
Fourteen percent of the total population some 40
U.S. residents have a disability, according to the Census 2000
Supplement-ary Survey. And, although this number is not directly
comparable to Census results from 1990, it’s clear to most experts
that the number of people with disabilities is increasing.
This means the group is growing, not only in numbers, but in
To reach this group, you must look to the practical aspects of
Universal Design. If you have not taken the first step, here are
some ways to start:
- Make your displays accessible. No one in a wheelchair is going
to buy a kitchen from a dealer whose showroom creates barriers. Be
sure doorways are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, that
there are ramps within your showroom if your floor has more than
one layout, and that passageways are ample.
- Consider featuring a “granny flat” kitchen or bath among your
- Take a pragmatic, rather than emotional, approach in your
marketing. Disabled people are turned off by “sob story”
heavy-handed communication. Emphasize the benefits universal design
and products can provide.
- Be familiar with the Americans With Disabilities Guidelines.
Take classes on Universal Design, and let your customers know that
you have done so by hanging your diploma in your showroom.
Millions of disabled Americans will want remodeled kitchens and
bathrooms to fit their personal circumstances. Now is the time to
get ready to serve their needs.