If you’ve experienced a severe spinal injury you’ll undoubtedly have many concerns about how it will impact your social life.
After all – bars, restaurants and shops are all part of a rich and fulfilling life.
But this doesn’t change if you’re in a wheelchair. As with transport, under the Equality Act 2010 it’s a legal requirement for businesses to have “reasonable adjustments” in place to make their venues easily accessible.
How does the Equality Act protect me?
This act requires business owners to remove or alter the physical barriers that make it unreasonably challenging for wheelchair users to use their facilities. This can include:
- Widening doors
- Disabled toilets
- Priority parking
The main difficulty is identifying which adjustments are reasonable and which aren’t. Every business differs in size, resources and venue.
For example, it may be difficult for a small basement bar in a historic building to make the venue completely accessible for wheelchair users. Whereas for a large chain in a modern building, there are higher expectations on the level of accessibility needed.
What happens if the premises aren’t accessible?
Unfortunately there are cases when a business owner has ignored their responsibility to make their venue fully accessible.
You may feel angry, hurt or even belittled by the experience, which you have every right to because it should not happen.
After all, not having a disabled toilet in a restaurant is enough to ruin your evening and is a form of discrimination against your spinal injury. If you’ve experienced a similar situation then you may want to take things further.
You can take action
The first step is to make an informal complaint against the venue. If your complaint hasn’t been taken seriously then you can take it further with your local council. However, you may feel overwhelmed or discouraged from taking matters into your own hands.
Quite often it can be a case of being unsure of whether your experience is severe enough to justify taking legal action. If you find yourself in this situation then you can talk to one of our specialists for personalised advice. You’ll receive all of the support and guidance you’ll need to bring clarity to the situation.
Talk to a specialist today for free advice