Disability access

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JMLF
Posts: 576
Joined: 12 Dec 2013 19:41
Location: United Kingdom

Disability access

Post by JMLF » 31 May 2019 16:12

This is copied from another forum for others interest:

At one of the earlier meetups of this forum X and I had a discussion regarding disability access and facilities in the area,during the course of which she said she knew someone who is knowledgeable about such matters and went round visiting various establishments.

In response to a post on another forum, it is the intention to set up a group to try to encourage businesses , shops, restaurants etc to become more disabled friendly...

We are having our first meeting on Friday of next week (7th June) at 1pm at the Goldsmiths Arms in Penge. Anyone interested is very welcome to attend.

mosy
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Re: Disability access

Post by mosy » 31 May 2019 18:28

I uphold the initiative - a bit of focussed think-tank lateral thinking could yield valuable suggestions that could be "packaged" to promote. Presumably it's already been established from various institutes what differently disabled people themselves would like to see, so are looking for shop or business improvements that might fly when put to them?

One thing that comes to my mind is how heavy some doors are now, which makes me think twice about trying to get in so it surely must put off those less able. Some shops have narrow aisles but will serve at the door, so to speak. What about a simple battery or wind-up "doorbell, for assistance" placed at suitable height? My point is that some things wouldn't need a shop re-design or cost £££s.

Getting things down from high shelves can be impossible without assistance; note "high" is a relative term. I don't know how to resolve the lack of immediate help given scarcity of floor staff. Maybe shops could stack things vertically or have dedicated low shelf sections. That won't fly in principle of course, but it might if it encourages a new sector of the market. After all, no-one catered for free range or veggie until it dawned on them they were missing out.

Speed to your heels and your other forum members and meeting attendees :)

stuart
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Re: Disability access

Post by stuart » 31 May 2019 18:42

Yes, all power to the initiative. All I would add is don't forget all those with hidden disabilities. Not all disabled people are in wheelchairs. if you need to ask who they are are then you are part of the problem.

Stuart

mosy
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Re: Disability access

Post by mosy » 31 May 2019 19:01

This is a complete aside. I used to rarely buy celeriac because I can't cut through it. However, Fresh 'n Fruity will cut it for you if you ask. (Take some lemon juice as it oxidizes once cut.) Also, Touchwood Pharmacy used to have ordinary aerosol push buttons and could replace the cover-type push buttons. Not sure if they still do, but little things like that make a difference as well as big things.

topofthehill
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Location: london

Re: Disability access

Post by topofthehill » 1 Jun 2019 11:01

Thank you for the positive words of encouragement.

In response to a post by a member of the Penge Tourist Board, a few members decided it may be an idea to meet with the object of discussing a way forward as regards disability issues. Before a way forward can be discussed, it will obviously be necessary to discuss and agree the issues giving rise to the most concern.

It has been decided to hold this meeting on Friday 7June at 1pm at the Golsmiths Arms, in Croydon Road, just off Penge High Street. Although originally intended for users of such facilities or other interested persons on behalf of such users, it may be beneficial to all parties for people such as traders and representatives of other bodies to attend, even at this very early stage of the initiative. So these people would be very welcome at the meeting.

In the meanwhile certain suggestions have been put forward in a discussion on the Penge Tourist Board Facebook Forum. These include asking for donations for wood which would then be fashioned in to portable ramps to be distributed among businesses who could then affix their logos to them, and a suggestion for lobbying for a voluntary"scores on the doors" scheme similar to that employed in the assessment of food hygiene.

Also on the Penge Tourist Board Facebook Forum is a fascinating article reproduced from the Guardian newspaper detailing the steps taken by Breda to make it arguably the most disabled friendly place in the world.

Mosy, thank you for your excellent suggestions. Your contributions would be invaluable. I do hope you can make it to the meeting

Stuart, thank you for your comments. As someone who has suffered a debilitating invisible disability since childhood I am well aware of the trauma and heartache this involves, so would never forget or overlook people with such disabilities, neither, I am sure, would anyone else in the group.

As the purpose of this initiative is to benefit those living, working etc in SE20 and its surrounding neighbourhoods, it would be great if people from areas such as Sydenham and Forest Hill could attend with their ideas. This would also facilitate a joined up approach to Lewisham and Bromley Councils should it be decided to seek their assistance in improving their approach as providers of disability services and grants and of their facilities in general.

Do hope to see some of you at the meeting. If possible, it would be appreciated if, for the sake of numbers, anyone who is intending to attend would let me know. If not possible, just turn up on the day.

alywin
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Location: Penge side of Sydenham

Re: Disability access

Post by alywin » 2 Jun 2019 21:47

stuart wrote:
31 May 2019 18:42
All I would add is don't forget all those with hidden disabilities. Not all disabled people are in wheelchairs.
I'm glad you said that - saved me having to do it. Amazing how some people think that putting a ramp up caters for all types of disability, when in fact some disabled people can't cope with the extra distance a ramp involves, but might appreciate lowered steps, say :( And the really unfortunate thing is that attempts to make life easier for people with certain forms of disability can make it more difficult for those with others, as I guess anyone who's tried to steer a wheelchair over those bumps for visually-impaired people at pedestrian crossings will know. Sadly, I doubt that there are any "one size fits all" solutions, although if anyone knows otherwise I'd love to hear.

I'll try and get to the meeting if I can get away from work.

stuart
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Re: Disability access

Post by stuart » 3 Jun 2019 17:22

A friend of mine who is a deaf postman is getting real trouble with access. People are putting in security gates. You need press a bell and talk to someone to get in to access the letterbox. Except if you are deaf you don't know if anybody is there or what they may be saying or able to identify yourself.

Solution is to move the letterbox to the gate - but how many remember to do that even when they know thier postie is deaf? He can't access gated communities at all - which is putting his job in jeapordy - and there are not many jobs a deaf person can do these days. Any that requires a phone is out and being a good communicator/team player is usually on the job advert.

So it would be good if the meeting could also include disabled access to employment in the business. Don't forget those with sensory impairments.

Stuart

topofthehill
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Re: Disability access

Post by topofthehill » 4 Jun 2019 09:53

Thank you Stuart. That is a good point and will certainly be brought up.

It would be good if you could attend the meeting.

Quick reminder to those interested - meeting this coming Friday 1pm Goldsmiths Arms 3 Croydon Road just off Penge High Street.

John H
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Location: Sydenham

Re: Disability access

Post by John H » 6 Jun 2019 09:24

As someone living with two disabilities I can understand some of the points made and have sympathy with them. Since I also raised a profoundly deaf child I am aware of the issues concerning deafness.

That being said I think people with disabilities need to be aware that society did not inflict the disability on them. Nature did it. It is reasonable to expect consideration for the disability but nothing society does can remedy the lack of an arm or leg or some condition that renders walking or other functions difficult or impossible.

The Equalities Act requires adjustments to premises and public service vehicles ONLY where practicable. Most premises are not suitable for modification. Where that applies then the person having the disability might have to accept that the only way to gain access is with assistance. That should be accepted where offered. It should not be treated as an insult.

There is no such thing as equality, in nature. All that can be achieved is measures that reduce the obstacles. Meanwhile the biggest source of prejudice and discrimination is our own perception of ourselves. Many people, with disabilities, I have encountered seem to think the world is against them. The world is not.

The deaf child I raised learned to be able to communicate by telephone despite not being able to hear it. He could just make out a whistle at around 700 Hz. He strived to make his spoken word sufficiently intelligible that his needs could be expressed over the phone and we were able to respond with low whistles. There is no reason why someone should know their postman, or any other caller, is going to be deaf and catering for such a rare event is likely to be too expensive for such an unlikely event. However an LED display at the doorbell might be an inexpensive answer..... some form of visual indication the bell was heard and is being attended to perhaps.

My disabilities came on late in life. People around me were aware long before me and would step in and help me, for example, carry objects I had previously taken in my stride. On reflection I owe those people a great deal.

topofthehill
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Joined: 16 Jun 2012 09:21
Location: london

Re: Disability access

Post by topofthehill » 4 Jul 2019 16:03

Apologies for not reporting back before now.

At the meeting on 7 June held at the Goldsmiths Arms, Penge the ACCESS MAKES PROGRESS group was formed. This is open to anyone wishing to join.

Various matters were raised, including those raised on this and the Penge Tourist Board forum.

It was decided that various selected representatives of Councils and businesses in the Beckenham, Penge and Sydenham areas be approached to enquire as to their willingness to attend the next meeting of the group (AMP) with a view to using their influence to contribute to the interests of the disabled. Invitations to attend this meeting, which will be held at the Goldsmiths Arms on a date in July or August mutually convenient to all parties, are in the process of being sent by email. Forest Hill area will also be included if interest is shown by those living or working in that area.

It would be greatly appreciated if any Councillors or business owners willing to help would contact me.

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