Live updates

The Wheelyboat is officially on water

Galloway's first ever boat with access for wheelchair users has been officially launched on Loch Ken.

The Wheelyboat allows people of all mobilities to get out and enjoy the water.

It's been in the planning for several years now and has finally had its maiden voyage in the sunshine.

Our reporter Fiona McIlwraith was there:

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Disabled shoppers feel they have 'no choice' but to shop online

A report by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign "Trailblazers" found 75% of those questioned felt they had no choice but to shop online due to a lack of physical access.

One of those who took part in the survey was David Gale from Carlisle.

He's encouraging high street businesses to do more to support shoppers with disabilities and stop ignoring them.

Kim Inglis went to meet him.

'£60 can make all the difference to a disabled shopper’s high street experience'

“Being able to use banks, post offices, shops or cafés is a necessity of everyday life. However, we continue to hear from many young disabled people who are unable to physically access premises, encounter unhelpful staff and find accessible facilities being misused – discouraging many from paying a return visit.

“Displaying clear access information on websites, offering to carry a disabled customer’s items, or investing in a portable ramp costing as little as £60, can make all the difference to a disabled shopper’s high street experience.”

– Tanvi Vyas, Project Manager at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers

High street stores encouraged to do more for disabled shoppers

A Muscular Dystrophy Campaign group, Trailblazers, _is calling on UK high street businesses to consider how to improve the experience of their disabled customers.

A recent study carried out by the group found many young disabled people are struggling to access shops, cafés and restaurants in their local high streets.

The report, 'Short-changed’, asked 500 young disabled people what high street shops are getting right and what they could be doing to support their disabled customers.

Of the 100 who responded it was found that:

  • 75% felt forced or limited to shop online because of a lack of physical access in and around their town centre
  • Two thirds said physical access always or regularly affects where they decide to go
  • Nearly half say that staff attitude discourages them from revisiting local shops
  • 85% see disabled toilets, changing rooms or lifts being misused as storage space.
  • 70% believe there is inadequate access information on website

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Disabled shoppers feel 'invisible'

A disabled man from Carlisle is backing a national campaign calling on local businesses to offer more practical support for disabled shoppers, following the results of a report published today.

30-year-old David Gale is part of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers.

He and others in the group took part in a study 'Short-changed', sharing their experiences of using their local high street for the group’s study.

Launched today, the study has shown that many young disabled people are struggling to access shops, cafés and restaurants, with some shoppers even saying they felt ‘invisible’ after being ignored by staff who instead address their companions or carers.