The recent coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to change how they live and work. However, it has certainly impacted some groups more than others.
Changing social distancing measures in the retail sector have left many disabled individuals unable to access premises. In many ways, the pandemic has exposed the inequality disabled people face. Here, we’ll look at how Covid has impacted disabled individuals in the retail sector.
What issues have the disabled faced during Covid?
The recent changes made within the retail sector to stop the spread of the virus, have significantly impacted those with disabilities. Just a couple of the main issues that have been highlighted include the switch to digital and long queues in stores.
While the digital switch has enabled some disabled individuals to carry on working, for others it is unobtainable. Long queues have also been an issue for those with mobility troubles. For many disabled people, the lockdown has made them feel even more excluded and isolated than before.
New guidance issued to retailers
In light of the issues faced, new guidance has been issued to retailers by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It has been sent to retail emporiums, alongside the CEO’s of supermarkets, outlining legal obligations to assist disabled customers.
They are being asked to plan ahead and prepare for the needs of disabled customers. They are also reminded that staff may need to remove face masks when talking to those with hearing impairments so they can still lip read.
These are just some of the measures being advised to retailers to help reduce the issues faced by disabled customers.
The safety measures already taken
Some businesses have already taken safety measures to aid their disabled customers. Top brand, Mobility Solutions, has taken stringent measures to ensure their staff and customers are safe while on the premises.
Some of the changes being made include allowing customers into the store on appointment only. This helps to reduce queues and ensure there aren’t too many people in store at the same time. Staff also wear full protective equipment and there are one-way systems introduced to limit customer contact.
While Covid has had a significant impact on everyone, the disabled are finding this time particularly challenging. It is more important now than ever before for retailers to consider their disabled customers and take relevant measures to include and protect them.