14 October 2016

Northern Ireland Assembly signs up to the ‘Every Customer Counts Initiative’

L to R: Speaker Robin Newton MBE, MLA and
Dr. Evelyn Collins CBE,
Chief Executive of the Equality Commission NI.
The Northern Ireland Assembly was delighted to sign up to a new initiative this week designed to encourage organisations and businesses across Northern Ireland to consider if they can improve the service they offer to clients and customers with a disability. ‘Every Customer Counts’, an initiative spearheaded by the Equality Commission recognises that a significant proportion of our population may not be receiving the same standard of service that those without a disability enjoy every day. In Northern Ireland 21% of the adult population and 5% of children have a disability. 

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Robin Newton MLA said: 

"I am delighted on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly to sign up to the ‘Every Customer Counts Initiative’. Parliament Buildings belongs to the people of Northern Ireland and we have for many years been working to support and encourage people to visit to learn more about and become involved in the democratic process. 

“We have made a number of improvements to the physical layout of the building through for example; the construction of wheelchair ramps, the availability of a ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility and the creation of a ‘Quiet Room’ for people with Autism. The Northern Ireland Assembly has also been and remains dedicated to the training of staff to ensure that all visitors receive a level of service that specifically caters to individual needs and enhances the overall visitor experience.” 

 The Speaker concluded: 

“However, ensuring that everyone can access the Assembly is something that requires constant attention and there are therefore further improvements ongoing at the moment. It is vitally important that we continue to talk to and listen to our visitors so that we can regularly review and improve our facilities and services. I look forward to our participation in the ‘Every Customer Counts’ Initiative and would encourage other organisations to get involved.” 

More information on the ‘Every Customer Counts’ initiative is available on the Equality Commission website