Disabled shoppers 'forced to buy online'

3/4 of disabled young people feel unable to go shopping because of a lack of access around their town centre, a new poll from the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign found.

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Disabled shoppers 'put off by bad staff attitudes'

Young disabled shoppers reported being put off shopping in the high street by the attitude they encountered from shop staff, a new poll has revealed.

The poll of 500 disabled people found nearly half are being put off shopping on the high street by the attitude they encounter from staff. Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The small poll of 500 people aged 16 to 30 who suffer from a disability also found that nearly half are put off revisiting local shops because of how staff treat them; some said they felt "invisible" after being ignored by staff who instead address their companions or carers.

The poll was launched as the charity's "Trailblazers", a group of disabled campaigners aged 16 to 30, released a list of top tips for high street businesses on how they could provide better practical support to disabled customers.

Shopping a 'military operation' for many disabled

Young people polled by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign described the stress of a trip into town to buy new clothes requiring the planning and energy of a "military operation."

Teenager Laura Bizzey, from Snape, Suffolk, said that her muscle condition, minicore myopathy, means she "always" encounters problems when out shopping. The 17-year-old said:

As much as I love shopping, sometimes it can feel like a military operation. No matter how much planning I do, there are always problems. Even if I can get into the store, the shop floor can feel like an obstacle course.

I can barely move between the packed clothes rails and steps between levels - meaning some areas of the shop are completely out of bounds.

Even if I have managed to find clothes to try on, nine times out of 10, accessible changing rooms are piled high with boxes. What's the point in having an accessible changing room if no one can use it?

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Disabled 'forced to shop online due to lack of access'

Three quarters of disabled young people feel unable to go shopping because of a lack of access around their town centre, a new poll from the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign found.

Poor access in and around town centres is putting the vast majority of young disable people off shopping on the high street, the poll found. Credit: Reuters

Seventy five per cent of those polled said they feel confined to shop online because they are unable to get around the town.

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