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News & Features

Many High Street Stores Neglect Accessibility

Posted in General News on Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

A large number of high street stores are still not accessible to disabled people. Earlier this year the disability charity, DisabledGo, looked into the accessibility of 1,295 fashion retailers in high streets across the UK. The charity discovered that just under a quarter (23%) are failing to provide access to wheelchair users and only 38% of the stores examined were able to state that they provided staff with some form of disability awareness training.

The latest statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions showed that the collective spending power of disabled people, in other words the value of the ‘purple pound’, has reached £249billion. Anna Nelson, from DisabledGo, said: “You would think that this together with the legal obligations for every retailer to make reasonable adjustments would have been a catalyst for change.       

The Minister for Disabled People, Penny Mordaunt, commented: “Our shop windows, magazine pages and catwalks should reflect the diversity of our society, and I want to see businesses making a real effort to be open to everyone. That's why this week I've announced new champions to address the issues faced by disabled consumers, from buying clothes to travelling abroad. They'll highlight the importance of being inclusive, whilst tapping into the £249bn spending power of disabled consumers."

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Mrs Mary Lewis's Gravatar
Mrs Mary Lewis

Wednesday, March, 15th, 2017

Its now only shops that are not helping - I attended a lovely lunch at a pub recently there was a small threshold but putting my power chair on full speed I managed to get over it. Not coming out through it was lower on the inside and I couldn't get out. I called one of the staff over and he said I will get a bit of wood or something well ha came back with the narrowist bit of wood which still didn't work in the end weveral people got behind and a couple in front and pulled and with a bit of power from my chair I go out. I did write and ask them what they would have done in a fire and sen t them a link to buy a freshhold ramp and I have not heard a thing since you can guess who will not be going again. Whilst I was in there pushed wheelchairs came in and out but they can be tipped.

Barry Milford's Gravatar
Barry Milford

Thursday, March, 23rd, 2017

I have been disabled with paralysis of both legs since 1954 but have always been able to walk with suitable aids. However in August 2015 I had an accident and broke my left femur into five pieces resulting in me becoming a permanent wheelchair user for the following 9 months (I STILL USE ONE NOW BUT NOT ALL THE TIME). During this time I was able to visit a couple of shopping centers by hiring a powered wheelchair from the Shop Mobility scheme. Whilst this enabled me to then tour the shopping areas two things became very obvious 1) Only the larger department stores are accessible to wheel chairs. Most of the others are barricaded with items on display so unless I could find someone to go in and make a purchase for me the shop lost out. 2) Lots of people are seemingly totally unaware of the extra space needed by a powered wheelchair or they fail to notice it !

kenneth thomas's Gravatar
kenneth thomas

Wednesday, March, 15th, 2017

Our local TSB Branch is inaccessible to wheelchair users.

Colon Taylor's Gravatar
Colon Taylor

Wednesday, March, 15th, 2017

I have raised this point with my MP and 2 councils including Westminster which includes Carnaby street and I would have had a better response from a dead rat .

Christine Pickering's Gravatar
Christine Pickering

Thursday, March, 16th, 2017

Quite agree, our local B&Q appears to have a lot of Disabled Builders/Gardeners etc as many use the Disabled bays, I have mentioned it to staff inside and nothing has been done. They just shrug their shoulders, just wish they had my disability and see how hard it is for me to move around.

P K Drake's Gravatar
P K Drake

Friday, March, 17th, 2017

I so agree with this report. Some years ago I did a survey of dropped crossings and shop access in Sudbury Suffolk and gave it to the council. Most of the dropped curbs have now been installed and a few of the shops have improved but several have made no effort. Some have a ramp that can be put outside the doors once another person has gone inside and made a request for it.

Antonio Carvalho's Gravatar
Antonio Carvalho

Friday, March, 17th, 2017

Unfortunately it's noi only shops and services failing to provide access to wheelchair users - the Portuguese Consulate in London last time I had to go to renew my passport did not have suitable access, in fact had none at all! Fortunately at that time I was still able to climb stairs though with some difficulty even with the help of my son- no hand rail was available either, and then he brought up the wheelchair to me. Queried within of such conditions I was told the building was not theirs so no alterations could be done. What a load of rubbish! Supposing, I asked, a totally disable person need to come here, what he/she do? - Go find someone to carry him/her up the stairs. was the reply! Where the logic? Is this legal?

David Smith's Gravatar
David Smith

Friday, March, 17th, 2017

One of very worst stores is in Gloucester. Whilst acces is OK the isles are packed with goods making it very difficult to drive nmy scooter. I did, at one stage, write to the head office but I got the usual 'brush off' thet told me that the company complied with the requirements of some organisation. However when I made contact with that organisationm they knew nothing about it. I was so disgusted that I deleted email and vowed never to give the store the pleasure of my custom. Beleive me the store is an absolute nighmare for wheelchair uses.