Reasonable Adjustments – And The Three R’s

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We talk tirelessly of the need to be able to recognise the signs which indicate one might find themselves in a vulnerable circumstance. There’s often an assumption that vulnerabilities and disabilities are obvious but that’s far from the truth.

Given that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) believe that 53% of the current UK adult population could be considered to be vulnerable, it’s inevitable that at some time in our lives, almost all of us will find ourselves in a vulnerable situation and many won’t recognise this at the time. Think about it, when did you last feel overcome by a situation and find yourself ‘not being able to think straight’? For some, this may last for a very short while but for others this may be long-term, making everyday situations and decision making more challenging than usual.

And that’s why reasonable adjustments need to be made. A reasonable adjustment is making a small but significant change to the way a product or service is delivered or making additional support available to help people to be able to better understand or use the service. These small changes can make a huge difference when interacting with colleagues and customers (friends, family and other members of society too, of course).

Here at ReynoldsBusbyLee we train organisations to:

Recognise the vulnerabilities that may affect your customers and colleagues

Respect the human involved

Readjust your products and services according to customer needs at that given moment.

All organisations can adjust the way they interact with customers, one example being to give customers a choice of communication preferences. Did you know, 11 million people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing (Gov.UK)? And almost 2 million people are living in the UK with sight loss. Of these, around 360,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted (NHS UK). 

So, what reasonable adjustments can you make?

Having attended one of our Trust Sessions, which explore in more detail how to recognise vulnerabilities and how to make reasonable adjustments, a delegate got in touch to tell us how they noticed one of their new young team members was showing possible signs of depression – usually in the afternoon. Fortunately, having benefited from our training, they were able to approach them and listened carefully to what she said. It transpired the problem lay in her required uniform. The employee had a dexterity issue and whilst able to competently carry out her duties, had problems with fastening the buttons on her workwear when returning from lunch breaks. A simple solution – a Velcro fastening option was swiftly introduced.

In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other, similar conditions that affect the joints. Arthritis affects people of all ages (NHS UK).

Masks! Have you thought about the impact this has on people with hearing impairment? We didn’t realise how much, usually in a busy shop and in the hairdressers, we relied on lip reading ourselves until the need for masks. Imagine for a moment what it’s like for those who rely on lip reading most of the time. One solution, an office favourite, is the Live Transcribe App. It helps instantly understand verbal conversations by transcribing them to easy to read text. For those with memory issues, the transcription can be saved to read at a later time and forwarded - so also beneficial for those requiring a second opinion about a product or service.

We’re not in partnership with Live Transcribe, by the way! We recognise that it offers a simple and affordable solution to a common problem and love to be able to highlight solutions..  

To find out more about the training we provide and the reasonable adjustments you can make to support those among us who need it the most please visit

Amanda Harries 

Photo credit: Brett Jordan @Unsplash


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