Saturday, 17 May 2014

Disabled Access

We had an interesting day yesterday with accessing - or rather, not accessing - premises in Chichester with the wheelchair. I had a bone scan at the hospital and needed to go in for 15 minutes for an injection, then wait a couple of hours for it to take effect and then go back for the scan. So we thought a spot of lunch in town would be nice as there was no point in going home then turning around almost straight away to return to the hospital.

First up, we tried Zizzi's. Couldn't get in due to a big step up. No signs to say what to do, no staff members paying any attention to help or give advice and husband didn't want to strand me on the pavement alone whilst he went to search for someone. Next up, Prezzo. No step, but massive, heavy doors. Some lovely members of the public tried to help but it was too narrow for the wheelchair to fit through.  Again, no staff came to help despite the kerfuffle, no information to say what we could do and so once again, we gave up.
Step to get into Zizzi's is larger than it seems!
Narrow door - possibly it's a listed building but
why not some instructions about how a wheelchair
could get in round the back or something?
Finally, Pizza Express. Lovely wide doors, flat surface to get into the restaurant, spacious layout once inside and a nice, new, tasty menu.  So we went there.

Well done Pizza Express!
I also wanted to pop into Cath Kidston, but there was a step to get into there too so didn't bother. Anyway, I think there are steps inside the shop plus it's pretty cluttered so, even if we had managed to get in, it would have been a faff to browse.

I don't get it. I thought that it was the law that places like shops and restaurants had to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people to access their premises so as not to be disadvantaged due to the disability. Or maybe I have misinterpreted it and not being able to eat or shop somewhere doesn't count as a disadvantage? But it's like these big chains, which I thought should know better and would want as much revenue as possible from all customers (hello capitalism!), just haven't bothered. A sign or some sort of attention button would work surely and wouldn't cost much? I feel lucky in a way, as I hope the wheelchair is temporary for me - but for loads of others, it isn't. I don't think it's good enough. So I have sent feedback to all four places (obviously positive in the case of Pizza Express).  It will be interesting to see any response, I think...

At least accessing our garden for a lovely barbecue is easy so hurrah for that!


  1. I am very interested in what responses you get! Post them, please, and have a great sunny garden day today I hope, xxx

    1. I will most definitely let you know the outcomes - if any! Will be interesting....