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Wheelchair Accessibility - Carers UK Forum

Wheelchair Accessibility

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Now that Christmas is nearly here has anyone else noticed how difficult it is to push a wheelchair around some of our major stores ? It seems that the shops are more concerned with putting as much merchanidse on display as possible and have forgotten that their stores are supposed to be wheelchair accessible all of the time Image

The food hall of our local M & S is a positive minefield - what with all the special Christmas food displays - we nearly had a whole rack of wine over last week. And don't get me started on the people who stop to have a conversation in the only space wide enough to push a chair through Image They seem to see the young Mum's with pushchairs, but get a convenient blind spot when a wheelchair is involved. I am getting quite hoarse with having to say 'excuse me' time and time again Image Image Image

And then there are those thoughtless creatures that will insist on using the disabled parking bays that they are not entitled to - they deserve to be hung, drawn and quartered. Sainsburys have a notice that says they will be fined £50 if not displaying a badge, but no-one ever checks so they continue to get away with it Image Image Image If I had my way they'd be confined to a wheelchair for a month and see how they like it when they have to get from the furthest reaches of the car park in the pouring rain Image Image Image

Sorry for the rant - but it's been bugging me all week Image

Abuse of parking bays drives me up the wall.Yesterday I noticed a large van in Morrisons . It was a decorators van, with ladders and all the paraphernalia needed. (I had a good nose at the inside)It was there for over an hour, complete with blue badge. Now, if it had someone who needed a wheelchair, they couldn't have got into the back of the van, too much stuff in there. And the van itself would have needed a fit person to jump up to it, as it was a high one.

AS for the shops, I could scream someitmes at the difficulties. M husband is okay when he has his guide dog, most people give way to a dog(not the man, just the dog!), but if my husband has his white sticj with him, people constantly bump into him and then say "watch where you are going"!My husband has decided not to come Christmas shopping with us, as it has become so difficult.
I think we'd all agree on this one. It's the same old thing, until people experience something themselves they have no idea how difficult it can be. My Mum is now bedbound, but when I used to take her out in the wheelchair, I just used to end up ramming people's ankles if they didn't move! One woman actually tried to climb over my Mum in her chair to get past us! I won't tell you what I called her. Image People and shops haven't changed much since my Dad was in a wheelchair 35 years ago so don't hold your breath for things to change now. Good luck with Christmas shopping, I'm doing all mine on the internet and having it delivered - who said the spirit of Christmas has gone?? Image Image
Until recently my Dad had a red and white stick. It means deaf and blind - even fewer people recognise this and they seemed to think the poor dotty old fellow had decorated it for Christmas and forgotten to take it off. Image
I agree with you Susie about the lack of space for wheelchairs when shopping.

On a positive note, I would like to share what happened twice last week when I had the old lady out shopping.In two shops,the queues for the tills snaked round the shop floors but both times after just a few minutes we were approached by members of staff who showed us to an end till.Both had lower counters so goods could be placed on them comfortable.Without exaggeration I bet one queue had at least 30 people in front of us and the other one 20.So well done BHS and Marks and Spencers.
I mentioned it to my daughter and she said most stores have the same policy especially at this time of the year.

I dont know if ASDA still do it but if you or the person you are with were in a wheelchair, you used to be able to ask Customer Services for a staff member to go round with you if you needed a hand.Might be worth considering over the next few weeks.

we find here that many of the shops will assist us when my wife is in her chair as mentioned above, however we find the main problems are the previously mentioned parking debacle, and the attitude of other shoppers, rather than access. i've lost count of how many huffs, puffs and even "aww ffs move it" type comments i hear from behind as we negotiate our way around our local morrisons, and the main shopping centre here. and, strangely this gets even worse if my wife feels ok and is walking with her sticks that day. sickens me it does, and i no longer keep my mouth shut to them.
as for shops in particular, we now most often use our local tesco for grocery shopping, and go late night to avoid other shoppers. this allows my wife to have the time she likes to look around and just shop like anyone else. the reason i mention this is to say a huge thanks to the staff. we have never met such helpful and attentive staff in any store before-always asking if we require any assistance, moving things out of the way to allow my wife to get scooter or us to get chair around with ease.
thank goodness for 24 hour shops i say..lol
I don't have much patience with people in shops and department stores these days. I verbalise very indignantly when people step over hubby's feet, with a very loud "Excuse me, can't you walk round?" I hate that, absolutely hate it. One bloke even stepped backwards without a thought and ended up tripping over hubby's legs and falling onto his lap - not a word of apology. And if people glare at us, for trying to get along, I'm afraid that I just GLARE BACK. Hubby hates me doing it, but then I don't go around STARING at other people's husbands, do I? Little bit of a rebelious teenager coming out in this 49 year old and I don't care, how would they like to be stared and glared at? Later on, we did privately have a laugh at the bloke who ended up in hubby's lap, he must have been so embarassed, everyone was looking at him (not at my hubby, but at the stupid man falling over). It was quite funny actually, but luckily for him, hubby wasn't hurt. Well, he looked like a right TWIT. Image
As most of you know, my youngest is autistic. We were in the HMV shop a few years ago during the runup to Christmas and someone barged past Mike - or tried to. The problem is he doesn't understand and so stood his ground, and the barger ended up on the floor. As I hurried over to protect Mike, he said: "Oops, I terribly sorry" in his usual indistinct voice - the guy, rather sheepishly, accepted the apology, realising his "mistake".

I had quite a job keeping a straight face... must have looked a little like this: Image
I got a blue badge for Jill and was using it when I was still trying to work. Must say Lazydaisy I used to feel so guilty taking up a disabled bay with all me ladders stacked on top of my estate car, that I finished up parking else where to avoid the glares, tuts etc. Jill used to get all annoyed with me.
It's true though, no one understands untill it happens to them. Do you know, one of our MP's got a ticket every day for parking in a disabled bay for a week at Exeter railway station while he was at Westminster. His excuse was that there was no were else to park and anyway, there are too many disabled bays these days!! He got a real slating for that one. I cant remember his name or I'd name and shame him. He's been around for years tho.

If I remember rightly this happened last year - wasn't it Anthony Steen MP?