Friday, 25 September 2009

Findings of Haverfordwest access study revealed at Assembly

A major study into accessibility carried out in Haverfordwest has revealed that disabled people are still excluded from many high street shops.

Disability Wales chose the Pembrokeshire town to carry out the research for its “Streets Ahead” survey earlier this year.

The organisation sent 38 disabled mystery shoppers into the town centre during March and April. They discovered problems with physical access, staff attitudes and communication.

“Disability Wales wanted to highlight the true picture of disabled accessibility of high streets throughout Wales and to that end chose Haverfordwest as their survey town,” said Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies who attended the launch of the Streets Ahead report in the Welsh Assembly building.

The charity is now calling for specific measures to improve accessibility to local high street shops and services.

“Being able to buy a loaf of bread, pay in a cheque or have a haircut are everyday activities that disabled people should be able to take for granted,” said Disability Wales Chief Executive, Rhian Davies.

“Despite long established laws, disabled people remain excluded from many High Street shops and services up and down Wales. “Our campaign for access will continue for as long as it takes for disabled people to be able to enjoy their rights fully.”

The most common problems encountered by the mystery shoppers in Haverfordwest included a lack of ramps or level access into shops, narrow doorways, unhelpful and insensitive staff and confusing signage and language.

The Charity is now calling for rigorous enforcement of the Disability Discrimination Act and collaborative working between business, government and disability organisations to improve accessibility.

Photograph: Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies speaks at the launch of Disability Wales’ report into disabled access to high street shops. The report was based on a survey carried out by mystery disabled shoppers in Haverfordwest.


Post a Comment

| Home | Main Site | About Us | Contact Us | Follow us on Twitter | Join us on Facebook |