The Knowledge and Attitudes of Restaurant Proprietors toward People with Learning Disabilities; and their Knowledge, Practices, and Beliefs toward making Information Accessible for this Group in their Establishments.
Thomas, Alex Caitlin
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: The inclusion of people with learning disabilities in society has received more and more attention within the literature over the last 20 years or so. Care provision for adults with learning disabilities has moved from hospitals to the community in this time. As a result of this, Speech and Language Therapists often now deliver their care within a social model of disability through indirect intervention, focusing on the extrinsic factors that might be affecting a service user’s success in communication. This may include, for instance, creating awareness in the community about learning disability and making information accessible to this client group within leisure facilities, for example restaurants. Aims: To examine the knowledge, attitudes and practice of restaurant proprietors within the geographical area covered by a Community Team for Learning Disabilities toward those with learning disabilities and making information accessible in their establishments for this group. To examine whether demographic variables influence attitude, and to examine whether the variables of knowledge, attitude and practice influence one another .To use this information in order to make recommendations for the process of awareness creation in relation to this topic. Method: A paper – based questionnaire was designed to establish the current knowledge, attitudes and practice of 19 restaurant proprietors toward those with learning disabilities and their current practice and opinions and beliefs toward making information accessible in their establishments. Results: Participants were found to have a lack of knowledge about learning disabilities and making information accessible. Only 3 of 19 participants currently offer easy read menus in their establishments. Participants overall had a positive attitude toward those with learning disabilities and toward making information accessible to this group. No relationships were found between variables. Conclusions: In order to encourage the inclusion of those with learning disabilities in society through making information accessible within restaurants, the speech and language therapists and service users within this area need to work in close partnership with restaurant proprietors towards increasing their knowledge about this group and how making information accessible can benefit both themselves and their current and potential customers.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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