Accessibility at the 36th America’s Cup: Top Tips for Auckland Businesses

With the 36th America's Cup now underway, businesses are putting their best foot forward to provide an accessible experience to customers with access needs. Follow our tips to make sure your business is one of them.

A view of a yacht, fairly small, with a lot of blue sea and blue sky, and land in the distance.

During the 36th America's Cup, one in four visitors is likely to have an access need of one kind or another. This could be a physical, learning or age-related impairment, vision or hearing loss, a short-term injury or a situational issue such as managing young children with pushchairs.

Those one-in-four will want to get the most out of all the cultural and sporting events and mini festivals taking place in Auckland, as well as the PRADA Cup races taking place this month. So it’s up to you, as a business, to make sure that your facilities, products and service are accessible. There is plenty you can do to make this happens. Here are our top tips.

Tip 1. Make it easy to get around

Make it easy (and safe) for people to enter and move around your space.

You can do this by providing:

  • Aisles wide enough for pushchairs, wheelchairs and people with prams.
  • Slip-resistant surfaces.
  • Ramps and entrances that are open and clear.
  • A clearly identified accessible entrance.
  • Access to reception desks, bars and counters.
  • A queuing system for crowded areas.
  • EFTPOS machines that are easy for customers to reach and use.
  • Suitable (and comfortable) seating and tables.

Tip 2. Make it easy to get information – in advance

Many customers like to research their trip in advance, but that’s particularly true of those with access needs. Much of this research is done online, so check that your designer has used accessible web design standards.

These tips will help make your website user-friendly for everyone:

  • Use clear and highly contrasting colours.
  • Stick to simple English.
  • Avoid using PDFs.
  • Keep the website clear of clutter.
  • Ensure your online services (such as ticket bookings) are fully accessible.
  • Include clear instructions and contact details for anyone who may get stuck.

Find out more about making your website accessible.

Tip 3. Make it easy to get information – on the day

The 36th America's Cup is likely to mean increased patronage for some Auckland businesses. Make sure price lists, menus and product information are readable for everyone. This means:

  • Font size of at least 12 points.
  • Sans serif font style.
  • Information in Braille.
  • Personal help – if a customer is struggling to read something, offer to read it out loud.

Tip 4: Provide great customer service

  • Speak directly and clearly to your customers.
  • Ask for specific requests, and encourage customer to tell you if they need help.
  • Proudly promote the accessible features of your business.

Find out more about accessible customer service.

More ways to become an accessible business

1. Quick wins

We are working with Auckland Unlimited to ensure that the 36th America’s Cup is inclusive and inviting to people of all ages and access needs. Our guidance for organisations includes an accessibility checklist for businesses and an accessible events guide.  You can download both of these from the Auckland America’s Cup website.

2. Next steps

Kickstart your accessibility journey by checking where you’re at now. Our free 30-minute self-assessment will highlight what you’re already doing well, along with recommendations for improvement. Take our free online self-assessment.

3. Taking it further

Our One-Stop Shop is here to support businesses and organisations on their journey towards becoming 100% accessible. We’ll help you identify your priorities and work towards your goals. Contact the One-Stop Shop.

Want more free advice and resources to help your business make the most of the 36th America’s Cup? Check out Auckland Unlimited’s Race Ready for Business resource library today - aucklandnz.com/36th-americas-cup/business-resources.

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