Accessibility is not just about gaining entry!!

“I Wanted To Use The Changing Room But It Was Filled With Stock”.

“There was no Induction Loop, so I was unable to hear the bank clerk“.

“Assistants turn away and ignore me.  It’s like they don’t want to help“.

“Steps prevented me getting in, I had to do my transaction in the street“.

“Promotional boxes prevented me reaching the card machine“.

“The restaurant had no large print menus, I couldn’t order any food“.

“Disabled toilet doesn’t meet legal requirements, preventing me using it“.

“Ignored at the bar as the bar was higher than me and my wheelchair“.

Accessibility in the 21st century, is not something disabled people should still be fighting for.  But unfortunately we are.  I created Accessibility Denied to bring awareness and hopefully help retailers to make the necessary changes regarding accessibility and help them understand why it is so important  to disabled people.

A lot of businesses still believe, as long as disabled people can gain access into your premises, then they have done all that is necessary to be “Accessible”.  Think again!  It is important to remember, accessibility is not just about ramps and lifts (as only 8% of the disabled community are wheelchair users) or technology. You see, there are many forms of accessibility, businesses must conduct facility and technology assessments, review policies and practices as this will help identify any gaps that need to be fixed.  With 13.9 million people living with a disability in the UK, access needs to represent more than just a small percentage of this figure.

Did you know , if you’re a business who doesn’t offer inclusive access, you are missing out on a slice of £249bn spending power of the disabled community in the UK!!   Didn’t think so!!  Did you also know, that the government describes retailers as “dumb” for not recognising the importance of easy access on the high street.  Again, didn’t think so!!  Finally, The Equality Act 2010 doesn’t just suggest what you should do to be classed as accessible, it tells you what you MUST do by law, to be compliant.  It is worth a read!

What do I do:

  • I visit different premises while out and about and assess how accessible a business may or may not be.
  • Any inaccessibility issues I find, are reported to the store manager or/and Head Office.
  • I report my finding here, to inform other disabled people of places that are good/bad for their accessibility.  I also let others know of any responses I get or if any changes have indeed been made.
  • If a reply is received by a company I have had to complain to, I try to work with them to make their business/premises more accessible.
  • Follow up visits to report any progress.

Disability is not the problem, Accessibility is!!!