Carrefour France has announced an action plan to offer the best possible experience to its deaf and hard of hearing customers.
The retailer is launching a campaign to raise awareness and train its in-store staff in French Sign Language (LSF).
The initiative is part of the group's ambitions to create an inclusive environment in its stores. The retailer recently launched silent hours in stores for people with autism.
It is estimated that there are four to five million hearing-impaired people in France, including 300,000 deaf people, according to the National Federation of the deaf in France.
As part of the initiative, Carrefour has entered into a partnership with the Regional Association for the Integration of the Deaf (ARIS).
The inclusion plan consists of four elements that the retailer will follow to create a more inclusive experience.
A major awareness campaign, 'Yes to all our deaf and hard of hearing customers', will be launched within the company.
All employees will be encouraged to learn the 10 signs to properly welcome a deaf or hard of hearing person in the store.
The 10 expressions that will be learnt are 'hello', 'yes', 'thank you', 'welcome to Carrefour', 'please', 'follow me', 'receipt', 'is everything okay?', 'Loyalty card', and 'goodbye'.
Often, deaf people can face difficulties at the cash register, so a memorial sheet recalling the 10 key signs will be made available to staff at each cash desk to alleviate this issue.
In partnership with ARIS, awareness-raising and training sessions will be organised for volunteer employees to ensure that each store has at least one employee aware of how to welcome deaf and hard of hearing people in stores by the end of 2022.
The training will include modules for understanding deafness and workshops on the practice of LSF.
For employees wishing to go further, two in-depth training courses lasting twice two days, or five consecutive days, will be offered, in partnership with ARIS, as part of the training plan offered to employees.
A 'deaf employee inclusion' training day can also be offered to any store welcoming a new deaf employee.
It includes a Deaf Awareness session, as well as a workshop to discover basic signs for communicating in simple professional situations.
Carrefour France Inclusivity Initiativ
This action plan intended for Carrefour customers complements the many systems available to deaf or hard of hearing employees in connection with the Group's disability missions, for example access to live transcription software (oral presentation, telephone conversation, etc. ..), provision of LSF interpreters during training, career interviews, etc., hearing aids financed by the Handicap Mission.
Through this approach, Carrefour is continuing its efforts to include people with disabilities, whether they are visible or not.
Alexandre Bompard, chairman and CEO of Carrefour, said, "Diversity, inclusion, and in particular attention to people with disabilities, are at the heart of Carrefour's DNA.
"I salute the government's commitment to our side on this day, which marks a new stage in our policy in favour of people with disabilities. Providing the best possible welcome to all of our customers every day is the promise we want to keep in every store."