Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Are You Preventing Customers from Entering Your Store?

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 1:29 am on Friday, January 9, 2009

Accessibility 100 Our snowy roadAfter feeling incarcerated for nearly four weeks, Darrell and I escaped our house arrest, barely. Our street is still down to one lane, shared by cars and pedestrians. Being in wheelchairs, stepping sideways into the snow, out of the way of oncoming cars, is impossible. Navigating the road, while people are driving home after work would definitely not be safe.

Sidealk is partially covered by snow and partially shoveledOnce down our street, we discovered (though weren’t surprised) that cleared sidewalks were hit and miss. Some businesses had shoveled their sidewalks; others had not. Some curbcuts (ramps in sidewalks) were cleared, while others were not, making crossing to the sidewalk on the other side of the street unsafe.

Sidewalk covered with snowDarrell and I were able to get to Staples to exchange a faulty Christmas gift and to the mall for our monthly treat at Tim Hortons. Getting to the grocery store didn’t look promising.  Good thing we are still well stocked, thanks to Mom!

Wheelchair parking with curbcut blocked with snowDear Businesses,

When clearing snow, please also clear the curbcuts and all sidewalks around your property. Otherwise, customers using wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility aids and those unsteady on their feet cannot enter your store to spend money.

Thanks kindly,

Accessibility 100 is a series of 100 easy-to-implement, free and inexpensive tips for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This is a community project. Feel free to leave your comments, questions and ideas for future Accessibility 100 posts.

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Comment by Lori-ann

January 9, 2009 @ 7:51 am

Thanks for this post, Glenda.
It’s so true! Our son is the only child in his school that uses a wheelchair. We were confused when the wheelchair bus was not able to pick him up and take him to school. Our street was cleared as was our driveway so that we could negotiate the wheelchair. It turns out the issue was that there was no cleared space at the school to lower the ramp on the bus to get him off and on the bus! There were paths shoveled for walking but not enough for the ramp and wheelchair. (I would like to add that as soon as the principle understood the issue she ran in and got a shovel and cleared the way!)

Comment by S Emerson

January 9, 2009 @ 10:30 am

Most cities have bylaws that homeowners and businesses are to clear their own pathways and the city’s sidewalk in front of their property when snow falls within X amount of hours of the snow falling.

Guess because we don’t get snow like we use to, this hasn’t been enforced plus people don’t know about it.

Next time it snows, help your elderly or challenged neighbour! The services they rely on can refuse to come to their home if it is too dangerous to get to their door.

Comment by Debbie W

January 10, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

Living in California, we take for granted that access would be available for everyone. I don’t know how you do it in a cold weather climate. You are a very strong individual!


Comment by anna

January 18, 2009 @ 11:48 am

p.s. Please don’t plow the snow into the handicapped spot.

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