A MEMBER of the Equality Oswestry Group is urging businesses in the town to be mindful of those with disabilities while making Covid-19-related changes to the ways they operate.

Susan Stewart is concerned some places are forgetting the requirements of those with both visible and hidden disabilities as they rush to adapt their businesses to suit Covid-19 restrictions.

Examples include one-way systems reducing the width of shopping aisles making it more difficult for wheelchair users to navigate, and tables with sanitisers on top at shopfronts or restaurant doorways blocking entrances for wheelchair users.

Susan wants to ensure businesses remain aware of the requirements for disabled people.

She said: “Over the last 30 years people with various disabilities, both visible and hidden, have campaigned to have the help and support they need to lead a more normal life in accessing all kinds of activities from transport to shopping.

“However, since the beginning of lockdown, disabled facilities such as special parking bays, wider shop aisles and lower access points to various services seem to have been ‘swept away’ in the rush to incorporate the arrangements around dealing with coronavirus.

“As a result parking bays have been roped off as seen locally or used to accommodate queues needed to restrict numbers entering shops.

“Sanitisers on tables are placed in store entrances restricting access for wheel chair users while routes set up in shops are not taking enough account of the proximity of other shoppers when queueing and/or blocking access to shelves for wheelchair users.

“There again no thought is considered for those not able to stand for long periods or not able to walk far on designated routes and/or those who need to use a toilet at regular intervals.”

If you would like to speak to members regarding any issues, contact the Equality Oswestry Group on 07857 655772.