Disabled Motoring charity says retailers are forgetting needs of disabled patrons

Published 19 June 2020

As the UK’s shops and retail outlets begin to open, Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) says it's being contacted increasingly by its members who feel they aren't getting the support they need from retailers implementing social distancing measures.

DMUK says it supports the Government's guidelines to keep people safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus, but it has received complaints that disabled parking bays - which are nearest to the entrance - are sometimes cordoned off for queues.

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The charity has asked retailers to think carefully about the position of queuing systems and the removal of disabled parking bays. Alternatively, it would like to see the suspended bays resisted to an appropriate place in the car park for Blue Badge holders.

Other requests that DMUK asks retailers to consider to help disabled people maintain their independence during lockdown include Blue Badge holders being exempt from queuing at retail outlets and disabled people getting the assistance they require when shopping. The latter includes help reaching items on shelves and carrying them to the til or to their vehicle.

The 2010 Equality Act requires that retailers and local authorities ensure disabled people receive access to the same services, as far as is possible, as someone who's not disabled. Under the Act, it's a duty to make reasonable adjustments.

DMUK Communications and Campaigns Director, Heidi Turner, said: "Not all disabled people are considered ‘clinically vulnerable’ and will be desperate to get back to their ordinary life.

"However, they may be prevented from doing so if the correct reasonable adjustments are not put in place to help them do so."

Comments

Fenwoman    on 20 June 2020

Disabled people seem to be an inconvenience. Often our parking bays are further from the supermarket doors than parent and child parking bays. I never understood why an able bodied parent with children, should be closer than someone who struggles to walk, until I realised it was economics. Parents with kids spend more on groceries and are therefore more valued.
The supermarket queueing is not an inconvenience, it's actually excruciatingly painful. I am supposed to be shielding, but cannot eat the basic survival food box I got from the council so I cancelled it and go to the supermarket. I get odd looks when I sit on the ground, then crawl forwards on hands and knees, pushing the trolley before me, but hey, this is 21st century UK after all. I count myself lucky I'm not being quietly euthanased somewhere because frankly, I wouldn't put *that* past this government of self serving wealthy people whose only interest is protecting the wealthy elite and their money.

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