New Accessibility Campaign Tackles Inadequate High StreetsBy Niamh Duffy -
I love to shop. A stroll down the local high street on a Saturday daytime is a nice break from the busy week. But what happens when you see something in a shop window and fall in love, go to buy it and you can’t even get through the door? This is an issue many disabled people face daily that most people wouldn’t even think twice about.
After being paralysed in a terror attack in Mumbai in 2008, William Pike was introduced to a completely new way of thinking. His eyes were opened to the issues those with limited mobility face in their daily lives - finding lifts, shops with ramped access and disabled toilets. The ‘Stop Segregating Disabled People’ campaign is focusing on two major high street brands, Cafe Nero and American Apparel. By creating this, William is aiming to raise public awareness of accessibility requirements between different, well-known stores that are “effectively off limits to wheelchair users.”
During the recent Paralympic Games he released a film alongside a petition to show his own experiences and how, even though there are laws in place, such as The Equality Act, to protect disabled people from this form of discrimination, they are very loosely enforced. By questioning the Paralympics motto of “Yes I Can” in a light-hearted manner, William portrays that this may be relevant to sports but, in day-to-day life, many wheelchair users are often finding that even accessing a shop is something they simply cannot do.William perfectly summarises the situation - “for too many disabled people, everyday activities can be a Paralympic event simply because of lack of thought or investment”.
As a wheelchair user myself this is a campaign that I believe could really make a positive impact on the lives of many disabled people. Instead of having to plan ahead and worry about whether a location is accessible, those with certain requirements can travel stress-free.
Click the link below to watch William’s promotional video in aid of his campaign.