Retailer guidance: communicate with customers

Advice and Guidance

Step 3. Communicate with customers

  • Where face coverings are legally required, make sure that 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 any 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
  • If your staff are wearing face coversings, make sure that they know to remove it 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, visual signage, indicators or social distancing requirements where they apply
Infographic: Communicate with your customers

Last updated: 01 Sep 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

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.