The British Polio Fellowship welcomes news that the first ever accessible shopping day ‘Purple Tuesday’ will take place nationwide on 13 November. For many of us, Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) is a hidden disability that can make shopping difficult, so it is great news that retailers including Argos, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer have signed up to make shopping more inclusive – an important step in seeing all kinds of disability taken seriously.
Introducing new measures to make the shopping experience more inclusive for customers with physical and hidden disabilities is long overdue. For those of us who use wheelchairs, Christmas can be a difficult time, with goods obstructing aisles and my hope is this initiative will inform thinking as we enter the festive period. Can the high street afford to ignore the purple pound and the £249 billion spending power people with disabilities possess?
Department for Work and Pensions research puts shopping, eating and drinking in the top three difficult tasks for people with disabilities and while efforts to make these experiences more accessible is a fantastic start, this must not be a one-off but herald a long term change in attitudes. The British Polio Fellowship is committed to campaigning for accessibility. Call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship