Clothing stores and the disabled

Thank you to all those people who ask about Graham often. It’s so nice to know that so many of you are thinking of him and wondering of his progress, and praying for him too.

He’s been making good progress and is now working from home fulltime. He occasionally goes into the city office to work but finds that 2 days in a row is more than sufficient – it wears him out. He’s much better off putting in full days at home for now and we are truly blessed that the company he works for allows this scenario. His boss has been excellent in facilitating this – thanks Mac!

In the meantime, we’ve discovered something interesting since Graham’s accident. And it’s not something we would have thought about had his accident not happened.  To look at, Graham appears to be fine and those who don’t know him would not know anything is wrong at all. I know when I watch him walk – I can see the limp and know that his right leg doesn’t carry through in the way it should do. I’m conscious that he has to be careful walking but he can now walk a couple of kms with me down the gravel road of our street – not every day, but some days.  He still has to be careful and still tires easily.

Anyway, what we’ve found is that many clothing stores do not cater to the disabled, i.e. they do not provide a chair or stool to sit on when trying on clothing. Went into Just Jeans today at Knox and their rooms were so small you couldn’t even put in one of the armchairs they had. I told them we’ll have to go and find another store with what he wanted. A staff member went off and found a folding chair out the back and put that in a changing room for Graham to use.  And yet later in Target we found they had a change room specifically for the disabled – large enough to push a wheelchair into and a padded bench to sit on and room for another person to be there if needed.

This isn’t the first time we’ve gone into a store for Graham to buy clothes only to find they don’t cater for those unable to stand steadily while trying on clothing.  (Rebel Sports is another we’ve found that doesn’t cater for the disabled) If you have a disabled person in your family or amongst your friends, please encourage clothing stores to cater for them. Write to them, speak to their staff, tweet about it. Being disabled does not mean that those people are aged, fat or poor, i.e. wouldn’t be going into many of the clothing stores we go into.  Younger people, non-fat people and people who do have incomes can be disabled too!

In a way I guess you could say that disabled people are being discriminated against in those stores.  What makes them think that a disabled person wouldn’t want to buy a pair of jeans, or wouldn’t want to buy sports clothing, i.e. trackpants, leggings or other clothing items that first need to be tried on to ensure they fit?

All people should be catered for in clothing stores and given the opportunity to try on clothing safely and without embarrassment or risk of further injury.

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One Response to Clothing stores and the disabled

  1. Janet says:

    Kathie, 11 years ago a knee injury meant I had to use a wheelchair when shopping. Well, that WAS an experience! I couldn’t see the price tags as they all pointed UP. I could barely manoevure in shops as the aisles were packed with merchandise and displays (it was coming up to Christmas so worse than usual). I think EVERYBODY should do their Christmas shopping in a wheelchair at least once – THEN we’d see stores being a lot more supportive and thoughtful of people with disabilities!

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