My blog behind the scenes

June/July 2023

Me and my blog 

As a wheelchair user with an assistance dog, I have experienced some really good places and services and some really bad ones.

I recently reviewed a local wine bar in regard to accessibility and was overwhelmed by people’s thanks and positivity for my post. 

This blog is not about naming and shaming it's to highlight access needs and whether they are being met.

 I welcome all businesses who think I may be able to help them look at the access to their property and/or service dog training for staff and legal obligations.


I have experienced that anxiety as a wheelchair user and assistance dog owner of going somewhere new, whether I can get in or the general customer service or whether people will help me or accommodate my assistance dog. 

When I first became a wheelchair user, 20 years ago, this anxiety and fear did stop me from going out, especially independently. I lost out on a lot in life as a result, this has somewhat eased in recent years however these anxieties still exist if I go anywhere new. 

Since receiving my assistance dog it has given me the confidence to go out independently, but this brings its fears as I never know what customer service I will receive on my visit. Although under the Equality Act, it is illegal to refuse entrance to premises due to having an assistance dog as it is classed as a reasonable adjustment, but a lot of businesses seem unaware of this. I myself have experienced this leaving me humiliated through discrimination.

I strongly believe everyone regardless of their access needs should be able to go out independently without having to have someone with them and have the accessibility knowledge to do so.

The purpose of this blog is not to advise others whether they should visit certain businesses but to fully inform individuals of the access situation so they can make an informed decision based upon their personal circumstances. 

 

My blog 

This blog is completely my experiences as a user. It's not about naming and shaming it's to highlight access needs and whether they are being met. 

For example, if you’re in a wheelchair you can be made aware if there are steps or a ramp available on request before you visit.

My blog primarily focuses on my local area (North Hampshire) but I hope the scheme takes off so all businesses are required to display their access ratings and any hidden solutions to access problems they may have I.e. portaramp on request

Initial dissapointment ...

Hart District Council 

Hart District Council response to asking for support for my access scheme

Hampshire County Council 

This is my response from Hampshire County Council with regards to my access scheme. I'm so disappointed they don't recognise the importance of access for those with mobility needs. 

.Support from one of Hart District Council chief executives

Followed by progress!

I'm excited to announce more positive news 

Hampshire County Council

I contacted my MP

Going forward 

I'm still persuing legal action on grounds of discrimination but I'm yet to find one with availability. I'm also contacted various media channels to help publicise my scheme 

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