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Business Sense

'Tis the Season to be... Courteous

With December right around the corner, many small businesses, especially those in the hospitality and retail sectors, are gearing up for their busiest season of the year, with some even hiring additional staff to handle the holiday rush. As such, it's a perfect time of year for employees to brush up on their customer service skills.

One area where employees may benefit from additional training is serving customers with disabilities. While the norms for being courteous and respectful to people with disabilities are generally the same as those for being courteous and respectful to all people, a basic understanding of disability etiquette can go a long way toward ensuring a positive experience for customers with disabilities and their friends and family members.

Now, a new resource makes it easy to ensure employees understand the basics. "At Your Service" is a 20-minute video providing tips and recommendations to engage, connect and interact with customers with disabilities in a variety of service settings. Free of charge, it offers a simple way to incorporate disability etiquette into employee orientation or training programs.

"At Your Service" was developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, which is part of the ADA National Network funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to contact their regional ADA Center for additional guidance on how to best serve customers with disabilitiesóduring the holidays, or anytime of the year.

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