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Date published

20 December 2018

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How it all started

My local pharmacy was kind of accessible when I first moved here. My mobility scooter, then wheelchair could get over the tiny step on the left hand side of the double doors if I had a run up. They said they used to have a ramp but not any more. They then undertook a major refit/renovation which included new frontage etc. During the work I asked if it would include a ramp. They replied with an indignant “NO!” (There was no call for the attitude). The builders were there with concrete at the time. It would have taken only a few extra minutes of time to concrete in a helpful ramp (plus drying time of course). But no. Next time I went back the builders had finished, but they had added a metal frame to the tiny step, making it HIGHER and no longer accessible, so my wheelchair could no longer get over it. I use a powerchair so cannot wheelie over things like manual wheelchairs can. Still no ramp. So it went backwards, from accessible to inaccessible. I complained to the company but was fobbed off with the tired old excuse “well other people manage”. So I had to stop using that pharmacy and change to a different one that IS disabled accessible.

What I did to try to overcome it

I emailed the company with the details but was fobbed off and told “we only added some metal to the step, and other people manage".

How it made me feel

Unwanted, unvalued, a nuisance, disbelieved. (Just because one disabled person can access a building does NOT mean that we all can. Every disability is different, mobility aids are different, my wheelchair and someone else’s wheelchair are different!)

The outcome

Nothing was changed, they denied they had removed their disabled access, and made no attempt to fix the issue. I changed to a different pharmacy.

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Ralph DeCampo 24 December 2018

You should have reported it to your local council.... building control! There are rules and regulations that govern access and egress to public areas and buildings, any new work carried out on these buildings must comply to DDA regs including all retail outlets, shops etc...

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