JAM spreading among Strabane businesses

Derry City & Strabane District Council Mayor Michaela Boyle pictured at the launch of the JAM Cards initiative. Pictured alongside the Mayor are Michael Kelly, Strabane Business Improvement District, Leanne Kelly, NOW Group, Louise Boyce, DC&SDC Access and Inclusion Co-ordinator,  and Heather Wilson and Louise McGregor from the Equality Commission. (SUBMITTED PIC)
Derry City & Strabane District Council Mayor Michaela Boyle pictured at the launch of the JAM Cards initiative. Pictured alongside the Mayor are Michael Kelly, Strabane Business Improvement District, Leanne Kelly, NOW Group, Louise Boyce, DC&SDC Access and Inclusion Co-ordinator, and Heather Wilson and Louise McGregor from the Equality Commission. (SUBMITTED PIC)

Strabane town businesses have made a successful start to their bid to support people with a learning difficulty, autism or a communication barrier by becoming a JAM Card Friendly Town.

Carriers of a JAM (Just A Minute) Card or app with communication difficulties can show it to trained members of staff at local businesses as a discrete and easy way of telling them they may have special requirements and may need a little extra time.

The initiative is part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Access and Inclusion project in partnership with the Public Health Agency.

Gadget Garage is the first business in Strabane to sign staff up to the JAM card training.

“Jam Card training has further equipped our staff with the knowledge they need to tailor every customer interaction according to our customer’s needs,” said a spokesperson for Garget Garage.

“The training complements our Dementia friendly training in the hope we can create a friendly, accessible and inclusive shopping environment for all”.

Louise Boyce DCSDC Access and Inclusion Coordinator, said: “JAM card training provides an accessible platform and recognition for local businesses to promote that they are equipped to support people with communication barriers; that they are open to business with everyone and promote their business as an accessible one.

“Free JAM Card training is available for all Strabane town businesses involved with BIDs, and is implemented through e-learning.

“What has been very evident is the commitment of local businesses in Strabane to their customer base and their already strong understanding of many different needs of their customers.”

Over 300 staff members in Strabane businesses have already completed the training which Louise said sent out a clear message that people of all abilities can visit with confidence.