Is fashion only for able bodied people?
It’s fair to say that as a nation, we are becoming more inclusive at including disabled people in ordinary life. Just look at the coverage that disabled sports are now receiving with the Olympics and sport generally. This can be seen less clearly elsewhere from access to shops, restaurants and entertainment such as cinemas and theatres, through to improved access to public transport.
We are not always getting it right and one area that seems to be worse than many is the fashion industry. Whilst the major retail chains are set up to provide access for anyone, this does not seem to flow through all the fashion retailers.
In this recent article https://goo.gl/C4CRbA we see that if someone who is disabled wants to explore anything other than mainstream fashion, they can come up against serious challenges. It is one thing for a small shop not to have a ramp, but it is inexcusable for staff to not be accommodating for the disabled. Hopefully the time is approaching where smaller outlets catch up with the larger retailers and look at how to include all people. Just because someone is confined to a wheelchair, does not mean that they cannot wear the latest fashion.
There are clearly some exceptions as is highlighted in the article and many other retailers could learn from their example. If there is no other reason, commercial sense should come to the fore, the UK disabled population has a spending power of £80bn. We as a retailer do all we can to assist the less able but that cannot be said for all retail and service sector businesses.
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