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Disabled shoppers uncatered for by the high street

5th December 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A recent survey has revealed that the majority of disabled shoppers have had a bad experience when spending on the high street.

Staggeringly, more than 8 out of 10 disabled people or carers reported that they had experienced accessibility problems in a high street store. Also, almost 70% reported feeling unsafe when using fixed chip and PIN machines, while 55% felt they had been treated poorly by shop staff on more than one occasion.

Nearly 7 out of 10 respondents said that the lack of accessibility on the high street would prevent them from doing their Christmas shopping, with the survey finding that those needing mobility aids such as disabled stairlifts were now turning to the internet to shop in the comfort of their own home. This means that many will miss out on one of the exciting aspects of Christmas, enjoying the festive atmosphere of the town or city centre, which the majority take for granted. This also supports a statement made earlier this year, that Britain’s towns are not elderly friendly.

The charity conducting the survey also discovered that 75% of websites did not provide accessibility information, making it difficult for people with disabilities to find out in advance if shops are accessible.

High street retailers urged to polish up their act

Despite these figures, almost 90% of those surveyed felt that they would return to the high street in future if they were reassured that it had been adapted to suit their needs. However, there is still much to be done in order to improve the accessibility of the high street. Vitalise, who conducted the study, are now promoting a campaign that calls for high street retailers to improve the current lack of attention given to the elderly and those with disabilities.

Chief Executive of the company Chris Simmonds said, “People with disabilities have every right to expect the same choices and opportunities as anyone else, and that includes the choice of where and how they shop. It is just wrong that the simple pleasure of a trip to the high street is being denied them.”

Image Credit: Peter Trimming (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.