A disability campaigner has claimed that Nottingham is not accessible for people living with disabilities and that changes need to be made for the city to become more inclusive.
Charlotte Throssel, 42, founded Disability Support for Nottingham and County four years ago, as a ‘one-stop-shop for disabled people, carers and older people’.
Living with phocomelia, a birth defect that deforms a person’s arms and legs, Charlotte created Disability Support with the purpose of providing advice and guidance to help people overcome the barriers that impact on independent living, while supporting disabled people with; claiming benefits, employment, accessible transport and more.
Currently, one in ten adults aged 18 – 64 living in Nottinghamshire live with moderate or severe physical disabilities, and approximately one in five individuals aged 64 or above are unable to manage at least one daily activity.
When asked if she believes that Nottingham is accessible for people living with disabilities, Miss Throssel claimed: “In short, no, Nottingham has a lot of venues that have little or no physical access.”
She continued: “A lot of reasons are related to the buildings being so old, however there are often measures that can be taken to provide access, including a lack of information displayed on shop fronts as to their accessibility, and few places advertise using accessible formats, including easy read.
There are difficulties accessing health related services, a distinct lack of suitable housing, lack of Council assistance/carers, people are given little information around their entitlements, especially discounts.”
”SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IS NOT ALWAYS PERSON CENTRED.”
– Charlotte Throssel, Founder of Disability Support for Nottingham and County
Even the Old Market Square has become less inclusive, as seen by the Winter Wonderland being built over the top of the Square’s outdoor seating, which could be used by less able-bodied people shopping in the area.
Purple Tuesday is a global movement founded by Mike Adams OBE, to raise awareness of improving customer experiences for people around the world who have disabilities.
Taking place on Tuesday, November 1 this year, the day looks at how businesses can make their stores more accessible for not only wheelchair users, but individuals with hidden disabilities also.
The campaign claims to have reached ‘over 19 million’ people in the UK and is supported by organisations such as Ebay, UK TV, Standard Chartered and more.
Speaking to Nottingham stores about what they are doing for Purple Tuesday, Chloe Smith, a 24-year-old employee at gift shop Scribbler, described; “We have a ramp for people with disabilities to get into the store and we are very quick to help, it is not an ideal situation, but it is no issue for us and there is a not a lot else we as a business can do.”
Similarly, the manager of local tea store, Bird and Blend, 30-year-old Jazz, detailed: “We tend to move all of the popular items to the front of the store, so people do not have to go up the stairs, we want to give all of our customers their best sensory experience, so we also like to keep our music at a sensible level and no flashing lights.”
Residents and local shops believe that Nottingham has to start becoming more inclusive for the disabled community, and this can only be done through supporting the work of people like Charlotte Throssel and the rest of the Disability Support team.