This is an update from the Cross-Government Disability Unit, based in Westminster, with particular focus on shopping and making shops more accessible for disabled people during the pandemic. And how disabled people can feed back on any concerns they have.
Disabled people have experienced shopping difficulties ranging from accessing online shopping, long queues with no rest places, to staff not recognising that disabled people may have a health condition and be exempt from wearing a mask when shopping in-store.
The Disability Unit has been working closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to try to improve the position for disabled people, based on feedback from RSN members and other disabled stakeholders.
They have also been in touch with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who are the regulator of the Equality Act 2010 as we know they have ongoing concerns that some supermarkets are failing to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled customers are able to access food during the coronavirus pandemic.
Guidance For Retailers
You may be interested to know that EHRC has published some new guidance (3rd September 2020) to help retailers meet their legal obligations. It explains the simple steps retailers can take to ensure they comply with the law. The guidance is available on the EHRC website, and can be found using this link.
You Chance To Feed-back
If members have any feedback about this guidance, or want to raise any concerns with EHRC regarding disabled people’s access to retail services, please ask them to contact the EHRC directly. They can also contact the EHRC if they think they might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, via the Equality Advisory and Support Service, by:
- Phone: 0808 800 0082
- Textphone: 0808 800 0084
- You can email using the contact form on the EASS website here
- Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form
- Post: FREEPOST, EASS HELPLINE, FPN6521