Going shopping is a nightmare for me, being sat down means that all I ever see is arses in my peripheral vision pushing, shoving and in some cases tutting at me as I try to navigate narrow pavement of a high street, badly placed A boards and inconsiderate parking make it stressful to even attempt to visit a high street.
And then when you manage to get into a shop, I’m often left feeling too awkward to leisurely wander around the shops. Walk ways too narrow, that I feel attempting to view something on a shelf will cause mass disruption an chaos, so I let the person I’m with lead the way as I closely follow behind.
Tills too high and feeling rushed not by the staff necessarily but the impatient of customers in the queue behind me make me anxious. Never saying ‘excuse me’ fellow customers often just stand there staring silently hoping I will see them through the power of the mind and kindly moving out of the way like I’m an XMen character
I have money burning a hole in my pocket, and a desire to go on adventures, disability representation is getting better but is it effective if the items these disabled people a refreshingly advertising are in store that are totally inaccessible. It kind of defeats the object, doesn’t it?
Today (Nov. 13th) is Purple Tuesday, a campaign to make customer-facing businesses more aware of these opportunities and challenges and inspire them to make changes to improve the disabled customer experience over the long term.
Nearly one in every five people in the UK has a disability or impairment, and over half of households have a connection to someone with a disability. Their collective spending power – the Purple Pound – is worth £249 billion to the UK economy.
Hundreds of companies have signed up to Purple Tuesday, as a step to improve shopping experience, and I am extremely proud to be working with one of Purple Tuesday’s Supporters, AccessAble. Having the access information about a place your going to visit is a massively useful step for someone who’s first thought doing anything remotely exciting, is ‘is this possible’.
We need to make disability issues everyone’s issue, if we think about access, it helps everyone and if we look at tackling disability awareness training for employees’ company wide it makes society more inclusive and it enriches the lives of disabled people.
Disabled people don’t sit in doors all day making bird boxes anymore, we want adventure, excitement and experiences and now with high streets suffering is the perfect time to refocus redesign and retrain High-street stores and their staff who work in them to see that the futures bright, the futures purple.