We often take our everyday lives for granted - being able to nip to the pub, accessing public toilets and even using the pavement.
For our clients at Ethos, doing these things isn’t always so straightforward and it can make their independent living quite a challenge.
Darren puts Oswestry to the test
One of our clients, Darren, 54, recently made it his mission to test Oswestry’s accessibility. Darren has been with us at Ethos since undergoing spinal surgery, and the results of his unofficial study has been a great help to us when recommending things to do and places to go for our clients.
Darren’s study means we can try and update local information, so we can let our clients know if lifts and wheelchair entrances are available.
We can also raise awareness among local businesses and organisations of the need to make adaptations for people in wheelchairs. No one should be prevented from going somewhere because of a physical disability.
When eating out, Darren found that all staff were helpful and accommodating, but he noted that “it would be nice to see all restaurants and other eating places having the same wheelchair access areas” as some that he visited had disabled toilets but they didn’t give enough space for wheelchair users.
It’s not just about eating out
Darren did give some things to work on...
“Each time I have visited the town I have been dismayed by the lack of toilet facilities for wheelchair users. Some pubs, for example, do have disabled toilets but you cannot always move inside them due to really cramped conditions or because it is being used for storage.”
With Oswestry having such an incredible hospital, we hoped that the town’s day-to-day facilities would be suitable for those who have undergone spinal injuries or experience physical disability.
After his study, Darren decided he would like to see more money invested in Oswestry, with a specific focus on wheelchair users:
“Ramps, lower postage machines and ATMs in the wall, all roadsides, kerbs and footpaths need to be repaired, public buildings should have accessible toilets which are easy to use, shop fronts should have automatic door opening and old shops need to have mobile, sloping ramps.”
With Darren’s study indicating that there are some parts of Oswestry that could do with developments, we can only hope the right people listen to Darren!
Well done Darren for your help in making a difference.