So, when another shop caught my eye in terms of lack of access I was hesitant and nervous about contacting them. I had no need to be though because what followed was the most positive interaction with a company that I'd ever had. I hadn't fully noticed the access problems with my local LUSH store until I got my powerchair, the step to get into the shop is small enough that my Mum could always get my wheelchair and me up and over the step with ease but in a powerchair this isn't possible. LUSH is a shop that I do really love going into so I put my nerves to the side and sent them a tweet. The conversation that followed couldn't have been better. I understand that the shop legally should be accessible already but when this isn't the case so often it is nice to celebrate when shops own up to the problem and quickly sort it out.
The manager of the St Albans store was very open and honest with me and explained that the accessibility issue wasn't something that they had been aware of until I'd said something. Often if you don't personally know anyone who is disabled then you won't have any idea what some of our access needs are and something like a small step being a barrier isn't a thought that comes to mind so I'm glad I spoke up and told them. They apologised and said that they had ordered a ramp that should be with them soon, I honestly couldn't believe that they had reacted so positively and also that they wanted to correct things so quickly. The ramp was in store within a couple of weeks and at the start of August I went to try it out and everything went perfectly. The ramp managed to take the weight of my powerchair easily and it will enable so many people to access the shop! You have to ask for the ramp if you require it, which is no problem, except for the fact that in theory I was the only one who knew about it as there wasn't a sign to let people know that it was available. I emailed them to suggest putting a sign up and they impressed me again by saying that they had already requested for one to be made!
As I said before I realise that shops like LUSH are legally required to be accessible already but when so many shops and public places still often aren't I think we should definitely praise places that put their hands up, apologise and quickly put things in places to improve their accessibility (especially when big brands like Topshop don't seem to care). A huge thanks to the team at the LUSH St Albans store for being so friendly and wonderful, I'll have no worries about going in store again.