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Wheelchair users and poor facilities

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I've been a wheelchair user for the last year or so and I'm frankly horrified at the lack of access to basic things that I used to enjoy when I could walk.  The ignomany of my chair being carried into pubs etc doesn't exactly make me want to go out.  Most places DON'T even have toilet facilities I can use, even the newly refurbished places that are supposed to have them by law.

The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.  If I feel that my lack of access to these places contravenes the act, then I have to sue personally, which is not only very expensive, but there are so many loop holes that it's not worth the time.  If a shop or company has fewer than, I think it's 10, employees, then they don't even have to comply.

I've tried bringing these things to the notice of the shops, supermarkets and other amenities and basically get one of two answers: Either, I'll do what I can (pat me metaphorically on the head) and never do a damned thing, or, worse of all, say that they DO comply when they clearly don't.

I feel my environment disables me...

I suggest that all managers, directors, etc spend an entire 24 hours in a wheelchair and see how awful their services are to disabled people.

A wheelchair I don't consider myself disabled as such, I feel my environment disables me, and no amount of suggesting, shouting or threats makes them see anything differently.

I'm not the chair, I have a brain and just because my legs don't work, doesn't mean I have to be treated like a 2 year old.  Tesco is actually one of the worst offenders in my opinion.  Their new trolleys for wheelchairs are damned dangerous, and even though we pointed this out to the store manager, and proved it by getting him to use the equipment, they STILL refuse to do anything about it.  I know boycott them.  They say every little helps, and I always add, UNLESS YOU'RE DISABLED.

By: Wolfie


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manish

manish

Great post. A good timing for me to read it when I have just started my blog a couple of days before. Keep sharing the tips :)
store wheelchair
manish
27th Jul 18 10:18

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Muvver Soup

Muvver Soup

Marks and spencers are the worst retail organisation I have come across - regular use of disabled parking by non disabled users goes ignored and when know unchallenged at theire new "Flagship" store in Ellesmere Port - barldy designed spaces with no chevrons so i get a tirade of abuse from these non disabled drivers when I ask why they parked so close I cannot get the wheelchair I use anywhere and have to wait for the offending car users to move before I can get in the car. The manager of the store wouldnt do anything because the tannoy system was broken when it happened again this weekend. We are just not shopping at M and S anymore - other local retailers - Sainsbury's and a large retail park nearby fine anyoone for infringements of disabled parking - which as solved this problem but M and S are waiting for authoirity to paint chevrons where they should already be - supremely badly designed flagship store innit?? Of course, if disabled access isnt a priority then this would be your corporate response wouldnt it? We listed everything we buy (used to buy ) from marks and spencer and found we can buy similar stuff from local competitors - so we have taken our disposable income eslewhere from this day on. Food_ sainsbury's (one third of a mile away) clothes- most shops on retail park and at the enormous outlet village across the road and undies - La Senza, outlet shops and BHS in Chester. Well done M and S
Muvver Soup
10th Mar 13 16:14

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Anonymous

Anonymous

A local small Marks & Spencer store refused to let a lady use their in store wheelchair as it was for emergencies only. This lady has used their wheelchair for a few years now but was now told they were not insured. Her friend takes her for a weekly shop in this store but is also elderly and cannot lift the lady's own wheelchair in and out of the car, so they rely on getting to the store and using the wheelchair located inside the door which they assumed was for customer's use. The manager is trying to resolve this problem but many other M & S stores have wheelchairs for customer's use so I cannot understand why this store has a different policy.
Anonymous
14th Jul 10 10:01

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Not made of money

Not made of money

Interesting blog but trouble is there are very few people in wheelchairs - you form only a small percentage of the current UK 'disabled' population - and thus a tiny, tiny percentage of the general UK population. It is usually more expensive to provide acess ... and very expensive to provide access in preexisting/historical buildings. I for one don't want to pay (via taxes or higher prices) for the relatively very, very few people who use a wheelchair. I know I may eventually become a wheelchair user and all that but I wouldn't see why everyone else has to pay for me.
Not made of money
19th Apr 10 14:36

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Leah Owens

Leah Owens

I visited Marks & Spencers in Aintree with my mum who is a wheelchair user. My mums chair was in being services so I asked the store if I could use on of there chairs.they stated that I could not as they kept theres for emergencies only. I explained that my mum has parkinsons disease and was unable to walk more than 20steps as she shuffles and falls over. I explained that we needed to go upstairs in the store to visit the underwear section after firstly ding our food shopping there, they still stated that we could not use the chair, I explained that if an emergency happened in the store whilst my mum was in the chair I would return it straight away, they still would not let me use the chair,i do my weekly shopping in this store every week along with buying mine and my mothers clothes there at all times. I feel so let down as a customer. please could I have some feedback regarding this issue as when I spoke to the shop assistants regarding this issue in the liverpool city centre branch they stated that this is not right.
Leah Owens
26th Feb 10 19:04

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Gainsborough lad.

Gainsborough lad.

Police vehicles, if you have to park in disabled bays every weekend, can you only take up ONE space please?

Why not park in the taxi bays, oh I forgot, you don't want to look racist do you.
Gainsborough lad.
28th Nov 09 23:06

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Gainsborough lad.

Gainsborough lad.

Our little girl is in a wheelchair, I don't expect every last shop or building in the UK to have a ramp, but very busy buildings like the "German embassy in grosvenor square London", is the only place in the UK where you can get a German passport, these places should have ramps to give a bit of dignity to wheelchair users. (my wife is German) wheelchairs shouldn't have to be carried up a flight of stairs,

There is enough people without work in the UK, lets have a few more ramps built please.
Gainsborough lad.
28th Nov 09 22:58

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Lizzie

Lizzie

My dad has a small shop in an old building, which is big enough for a wheelchair user to shop in, but not work in. As him and my mum are the only employees, and will only ever be the only employees, this isn't too much of a problem.
Lizzie
18th Jun 09 05:30

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dobra

dobra

tryer
wolfies partner her yes I am possibly biased having just recently ended up on crutches myself however hopefully not permenantly..
I would just like to point out that wolfie would love to ride a bike and do things we would consider normal however due to her condition it is not possible .
If you work in retail or a company that deals with the public I suggest you take up wolfies point and try a wheelchair for a day you will change your opinion im sure.
Think yourself lucky to be able to get up and walk away from your pc and not wheel away
dobra
9th Jun 08 18:08

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Wolfie

Wolfie

Hi Dave,I'm sorry to say that mostly there's little that can be done. You could request assistance from your local social services, or from the owners of the buildling. Unless there is an alternative doorway, there's not much that they can do (or so they say). I use a 20" wheelchair (they go by seat size) and can't manage regular sized doors. An 18 or 16" shouldn't have too many problems though. Not sure if it helped any and I'm willing to go digging if you'd like.
Wolfie
28th May 08 16:36

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Dave

Dave

Hi, any idea where one can go for info on this subject. My wife helps run a pre-school. For the first time they are faced with a mum, injured in a car accident, who is wheelchair bound. The door to the school is a "standard" size door, typical of an ordinary residential uPVC front door, with a lip of approx 6 inches off the ground. The placing of a ramp won't be difficult. But they doubt the door is wide enough.
Dave
22nd May 08 12:59

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Wolfie

Wolfie

Thanks for the feed back guys. Yep, it's me in the chair and no, I've not only just noticed the 2 tier system. This is the first place I felt I could get this off my chest. I was born with a genetic defect (not my brain, lol). It's called Ehler-Danlos syndrome and it's slowly degenerating. There will be a time when being independent won't be a possibility, so I'm doing what I can to bring to the notice of stores and companies (usually very politely with simple ideas so that they can see the issues from our angle, and hopefully improve their profits) while I'm still able. Sorry about the soap box
Wolfie
21st May 08 15:58

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Nige

Nige

Wolfie hi,

I am a little bewildered as to why the originator has just recently become 'horrified' at the lack of access to basic things. Am I correct in stating that you cared not or paid very little attention, prior to your current, unfortunate situation?

We can't build two worlds. I am sure Tryer (below) is correct, people are doing their best. It is unfortunate the card you have been dealt, as it is for people in similar circumstances as yourself.
Nige
21st May 08 14:15

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kodkod.84

kodkod.84

To quote Alan Partridge

"Were you born in a wheelchair?"

classic
kodkod.84
20th May 08 20:55

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Tryer

Tryer

A lot of places are doing their best. It will take time, previous neglect is not our fault and I (for one) am sick of the whinge...no matter how hard we are trying. SO: if you don't like it...on yer bike!
Tryer
20th May 08 20:23

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