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Harrogate shops urged to accommodate disabled this Christmas

Harrogate shops urged to accommodate disabled this Christmas

Published by Harry Long at 5:21pm 9th December 2019.

A Harrogate charity is calling on local shops to make sure they are accessible to disabled customers over Christmas.  

  • Disability Access Yorkshire are running a 'SANTA' initiative. 
  • It's to encourage local businesses to take steps to help disabled customers. 
  • It's hoped improvements made by businesses will help disabled customers in the long term. 

Disability Access Yorkshire are running a 'SANTA' initiative.   It's being organised by the charity’s new Think Access Co-Ordinator Josh McCormack.   

SANTA is an acronym for Signs, Access, Noise, Time and Ambience: 

  • S= Signs: Ensure all sings are clear and easy to read for all customers
  • A= Access: All stock should be accessible for customers with mobility issues. If not possible, good customer service can still go a long way
  • N= Noise: Christmas music in the store should be kept at a reasonable volume as loud music may interfere with hearing aids or distress people who have an aversion to noisy places
  • T= Time: Give people patience when completing transactions, as everyone works at a different pace
  • A= Ambience: Flashing Christmas lights are great but should be set to a slow charge setting as quick flashing images can cause some people to have seizures.

The charity says the 'Purple Pound' -  the spending power of disabled households -  is estimated to be over £249 billion annually.

Josh said:

“Our Think SANTA initiative is all about asking town traders to make their shops and businesses more accessible for disabled people during this festive period.

“The SANTA recommendations are cost neutral and, if implemented, could lead to real financial benefits for business who take them on board.

“And borrowing a line from a well-known animal charity, accessibility isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for all times of the year. 

“Whilst the Harrogate District is a great place to live not all of it is accessible to everyone. Although we have come a long way in improving access for disabled people there is still a long way to go.”

Are you doing Dry January?