Have you ever heard the saying “By hook or by crook”? It actually traces back to 1170 when Henry II was searching for the Norman Lord Strongbow on County Waterford coastline. The village of “Crook” is on the Waterford Harbour estuary and there is a headland called “Hook” at the mouth of the estuary. Hook is the home of the Hook Lighthouse which is over 800 years old and is the oldest operational lighthouse in the world!
A few months ago, we were in the area and decided to visit the lighthouse. My 18 year old son Jordan was with us – Jordan is on the autistic spectrum and new places can be challenging for him.
A friendly welcome
Arriving in reception, we were greeted by a very friendly lady who assured that Jordan would be very welcome on the tour. We paid the fee and went outside to enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes. When we arrived back five minutes later, the tour guide Noel was waiting for us and explained that Jordan would be his “special helper” on the tour.
The tour started with Noel leading the way with Jordan by his side. Noel gave a very informative and entertaining tour of the lighthouse but at every stage, Jordan had a role to play whether it be turning on a video, turning off the lights or holding props. Jordan was an integral part of the tour and was “included” throughout. It was a wonderful experience to see a tour guide going out of his way to make everyone welcome in the lighthouse.
Making an effort
So the next time you hear “by hook or by crook”, perhaps you will remember this little story and think about how you can make more if an effort to be more inclusive towards people with special needs in your business.
Customers with Disabilities is a half-day course delivered by Siofra O’Reilly on behalf of Customer Sense. To find out more, visit our Customers with Disabilities page for more information, call us on 07773 423675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.