Retailer guidance: communicate with customers

Advice and Guidance

Step 3. Communicate with customers

  • Ensure any communication about face coverings makes it clear to all staff and customers that it is not compulsory for some disabled customers to wear a face covering, for example, a mask or visor, and that they should not be routinely asked to prove that they have a disability or are exempt
  • Consider how to make sure disabled customers don’t feel distressed or harassed by other customers who may be concerned that other people aren’t wearing face coverings
  • Consider how to communicate in a variety of ways about changes to your service and how customers can shop in an accessible way to take into account disabled people’s needs. For example, offer clear, easy-to-read signs, as well as messages through spoken announcements
  • Ensure your website is accessible and usable by disabled people with assistive technology requirements such as screen readers
  • Consider providing information on websites and in-store on what adjustments disabled people can expect
  • Ensure that staff know to remove their face coverings if they are assisting a customer who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • Be respectful and aware that blind and partially sighted people may have difficulty social distancing, as well as following visual signage or indicators.
Infographic: Communicate with your customers

Last updated: 24 Jan 2021

Further information

If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Phone: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084

You can email using the contact form on the EASS website.

Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form.


Opening hours:

9am to 7pm Monday to Friday
10am to 2pm Saturday
closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays

Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.