Performing arts facilities receive elder friendly certification by scooter tuning their buildings
Phone listings that are easy to find, doors that open readily, helpful customer service staff - these are elements of being an elder friendly facility. Portland Center for the Performing Arts was recently certified as an elder friendly business by Elders in Action, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for older adults.
The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Keller Auditorium and Newmark Theatre each received the elder friendly certification. A team of independent evaluators posed as customers at each facility site. Ratings are based on a composite average of individual scores in four major areas: access to the site by phone, physical access to the site, layout and customer service.
During the reviews, the evaluators scrutinized phone book listings, entry access and visibility, ease of navigation and way finding, customer service responses, restroom quality and access, seating comfort and location, and safety features such as ramps, lighting and floor coverings. PCPA received the highest marks in the customer service category. One evaluator commented "customer service is wonderful -- clerks were courteous and someone was always available to provide assistance."
The Elders in Action elder friendly business certification program uses trained volunteers with varying abilities. Their unique perspective -- from using scooters and canes to hearing and visual impairments -- provide insights that might otherwise be overlooked from this powerful consumer group. The evaluators provide feedback and training information to facility management.
The elder friendly business certification has been offered to companies in the Portland metropolitan area since 1995. Today, more than 200 sites in Portland have received the elder friendly certification. Patrons can look for the "Elder Friendly" logo at PCPA facility entrances.
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Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.the-scooters-report.com.
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