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Mar 29, 2024

Newry-based bed retailer DFI Beds, has taken a significant step towards inclusivity by ensuring that its entire workforce is trained to be 'JAM Card Friendly'.

The 'Just A Minute' (JAM) Card, created by NOW Group, a social enterprise based in Belfast, enables individuals with learning difficulties, autism, or communication barriers to discreetly communicate their need for a moment of patience when using various services, including shops, public transport, and now, DFI Beds.

DFI Beds is proud to be the first furniture company in Ireland to have all staff members to complete the JAM Card training. With over 145,000 users, the JAM Card is available as a free plastic card or a mobile phone app.

Customers visiting the DFI Beds store at the Quays Shopping Centre in Newry or at its Dungannon showroom location can present their JAM Card to any member of staff, signalling that they require a bit more time or assistance while making their bed-related transactions.

The company has invested in training employees in its headquarters and retail stores to effectively recognise and respond to JAM Card holders. This valuable service will be actively promoted throughout the DFI Beds' organisation.

Managing Director of DFI Beds, Brian McCann expressed his belief in the benefits of the JAM Card initiative, saying "Simple as it may be, the JAM Card has the power to reframe the experiences of individuals facing communication barriers. We understand that seemingly routine tasks, such as entering a furniture store, can be intimidating for some individuals, impacting their emotional well-being and confidence. By embracing the JAM Card, and ensuring our staff are trained to respond appropriately when presented with a JAM Card, we aim to create an accessible and welcoming environment in our store and showroom, ensuring the comfort of every customer and employee."

Speaking about JAM Card certification, Business Development Manager with the NOW Group, Nicola Tipping, adds: “We are so pleased that DFI Beds has partnered with NOW Group to become JAM Card friendly and recognise the value of investing in training their staff to provide great customer service for people with both visible and hidden disabilities. Their adoption of the JAM Card initiative reinforces their position as a leader in the sector, setting an example for other providers to follow suit.”

“It may be ‘Just A Minute’ but that extra time and understanding can really support and comfort those with communications barriers, helping to give them equal access to the services they need every day, like bed shopping.”

Nicola adds: “Since launching the JAM Card initiative in 2012, the scheme has been a resounding success with more than 2,500 organisations across the region participating in the training programme. With its non-verbal communication approach, JAM Card enables those with learning difficulties, communication barriers, and various disabilities to feel more comfortable and confident in social situations.”

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