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BFC Helps You Cope With Disability

Illustration: A woman talking on the phone. Most information we compile is gathered by phone calls or personal visits.[3] Asking the Right Questions:

Our questionnaire has been carefully designed to determine precisely to what degree a facility might be "barrier-free" to the general disabled population, and is integral in determining whether a particular facility is qualified to be listed on our Information Service.

Based on data collected through conversations with disabled consumers over the last decade or so, and a general consensus on which factors are most important to people with disabilities, our questionnaire covers such topics as:

• The availability of designated parking for disabled customers (or alternative parking options) within a reasonable distance from a facility's entrance;

• Whether there is at least one barrier-free entrance to a facility; or alternative access, such as a ramp or elevator, if necessary;

• Whether public areas inside a facility are navigable for disabled customers; and

• The availability of barrier-free rest rooms (for those facilities that do provide rest rooms for their customers or clients).

If our preliminary questionnaire results indicate that a facility is physically barrier-free, we then ask a series of additional questions to evaluate management attitude toward people with disabilities, such as:

• Whether the employees of that facility are trained or instructed to be sensitive to the special needs of their customers with disabilities.

While some facilities we poll might not always be 100% barrier-free by ADA standards, they will be eligible for listing with our Information Service if they are mostly barrier-free, and if we consider them to be a valuable resource for the majority of disabled consumers in their area who need the products and services they provide.

Each listing contains comments prepared by our Survey Team on the barrier-free status of that particular facility.

Individual users of our Information Service can quickly read the details of each facility's barrier-free status, as well as other relevant consumer information, and then make choices appropriate to their own personal needs or situation.

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