Appeal from customers with disabilities during pandemic

IF you own a business that has had to change things around due to social distancing regulations, please take your disabled customers into consideration.
That was the heartfelt message delivered to the business community across Donegal this week by Marcus Ward, a Letterkenny-based disability activist.
Mr Ward, who is a teacher, said he had noticed that things have been made more difficult for wheelchair users since the country opened up again in recent months.
He pointed to the fact that some disabled parking spaces have been blocked and closed off with street tables and chairs placed outside premises; one-way systems in shops that are too narrow for wheelchairs to use and hand sanitiser stations that are installed very high up.
Mr Ward also pointed to signs and other obstacles on footpaths that mean that those in wheelchairs, using mobility scooters and people with buggies as well as all other pedestrians, are unable to use the walkways in a safe manner.
“Masks, visors and perspex screens also make it harder for us to hear you, considering we are lower down than most.
“These are only a few things that have affected people like myself, so I’m sure people with other types of disabilities have had to face different problems,” he said.
Mr Ward said he understands that, due to social distancing, many businesses have had no choice but to make some changes, but this shouldn’t have to come at a cost for wheelchair users.
“If you own or work in a business that has had to change things around, please take your disabled customers into consideration.
“Please don’t block disabled parking spaces and access.
“We have money too and we want to be able to spend it in your business,” he said.

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