Friday, March 6, 2009

Money and Accessibility

Today I went to Ridgedale mall for a little shopping trip. I ended up buying a bunch of clothes that I probably don't need but decided to buy anyways. Since I don't go out to many places besides school and appointments, I don't spend my money on very many things. I don't go to the gas station and buy gas, I don't go grocery shopping and buy groceries, I don't go to Target and buy toiletries; so when I go out somewhere all I really want to do is just spend money no matter when it's on. I know that may sound odd to those of you who would rather not be spending money at a time like this, but when I don't I feel the need to.

I don't see how stores can get away with not being accessible these days. I only go to my select few stores when I go to the mall so most of the employees know me by now. When I go into the store they say hi and then also tell me to let them know if I need anything moved. Most stores that I go into I end up rearranging the racks. They pack those things so close together I don't even see how other people can walk through the store let alone a wheelchair. Also, I don't shop at Hollister but I couldn't even if I wanted to. When they put the store into the mall they put stairs in the front entrance. How ridiculous! People with strollers can't even shop there. They have shutters on the sides but there is no way that I could fit through them plus they have tables and racks of clothes on the inside. I hope someday everything will be accessible. I can't even imagine what it's like for people in wheelchairs in other countries.



Tee said...

The UK sounds the same as the U.S !

Matthew Smith said...

I was in Charing Cross Road in London yesterday, which is where the major bookshops in London are - there used to be much more, but they were pushed out by rising rents in the 1990s, but Foyle's and Blackwell's are still there and thriving. Anyway, there is a Borders just across the road from Foyles and it must be the only big bookshop in London that doesn't have proper disabled access, i.e. there is a step up to the main doors. There is also a lift and toilets with disabled facilities inside, but ...

Borders has been cutting back recently and they are in the process of closing their "flagship" bookshop on Oxford Street, which is accessible, again because of rising rents (I blogged about it here). Perhaps they will used the money saved to improve accessibility at Charing Cross Road.

In reply to Tee, basically there are old shops in town centres, and shops in malls. To make a huge generalisation, The former are often old and very inaccessible, and the same goes for offices, etc. The latter, particularly with malls which are quite recent, and certainly the big ones like Bluewater, Westfield London etc., are usually accessible since the standards have been improved and I guess they realise that disabled people have money to spend.

Ramps, lifts etc. do not just benefit the disabled anyway; anyone delivering heavy loads can testify to their benefits. A couple of years ago I nearly got beaten up by some guy in a builder's yard in Battersea (south-west London) who insisted that I lug 20 bottles of water (huge bottles, of the sort used for water dispensers in offices) up the steps. Of course, he and his staff were "too busy" with their paperwork to help.