The JJs List Blog

What Are Reviews for Change Workshops?

Posted by on June 6, 2016 - 2 Comments

Hi! I’m Sarah, and I am the Trainer for Reviews for Change Workshops.

What are Reviews for Change Workshops?  Well, is a great way for the people with disabilities to have a voice in the community!   But to have a voice, you have to USE your voice.  That means posting your reviews about the disability awareness in the businesses that you go to so we can bring about change in a win/win manner!

So, we started free “Reviews for Change Workshops” to teach people with disabilities how to advocate for themselves and others.  Right now, I teach the workshops to Search, Inc. consumers and staff members in the community.

When you review businesses, you make change! I know because I’ve seen it happen. During the Workshops, I can see the excitement in the participants’ eyes when they learn that they have a voice and can see how their ideas matter to the larger community.

We talk about the types of businesses you can review.  We talk about disability-aware features, which means, “what can businesses do to meet the needs of people with disabilities.” We practice posting a review about a business together.

Disability-aware features include: physical accessibility, extra time, accommodation or assistance, talking directly to a person with a disability, having a employee with a disabilities, being respectful, welcoming, and friendly.

The disability awareness features included in reviews make your voice stand apart from and Angie’s List. People with disabilities represent billions of dollars of buying power and your reviews help all people with disabilities tell the business community how they can better serve our community.

And they are making an impact:

  • I’ve done workshops with 290 people, including Northwestern University students and at Speak Up Speak Out  in Springfield!
  • We’ve even have fun contests.
  • Guess what?  The result is that voices connected with 126 different businesses!

To give a specific example of how your reviews turn into actionable feedback, Lucky Platter is a neighborhood restaurant in Evanston that has been in our Disability-Aware Business Directory for many years.  They used to have a step up to get into the  restaurant.  However, this spring they made renovations to make their entrance physically accessible and they credited the information that they received from as an influencing factor! Wow!

If you post your review story on about the disability awareness of a business, that review can then be used by those businesses to build their own awareness of how to provide a better service or product.

Our vision for the Reviews for Change Workshops is to train and have a conversation with everyone about disability-awareness to EVERYONE!  Good, bad, or ugly.  The workshop is what I call a “Think-bolt session!”  What do our eyes see each and everyday at a business?  I learn so much as well because my eyes miss stuff too.  The workshop is done which manipulates with colorful pictures to engage our audience in the conversation.  It’s not about the right or wrong ways but it what do our eyes see and how can it change how we think and therefore can we put into action on a daily basis!”

We would like to offer the Reviews for Change to other groups and organizations. What do you think?  Would your group or organization like to host a workshop?  Let me know.

Photo.SarahSarah Armour is the Business Assistant for




matthew lachapelle says:
Jun 07, 2016

wow great work

Jake says:
Jun 08, 2016

Great post Sarah. I love writing reviews on here, and thanks for mentioning the recent Lucky Platter renovations.

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