Getting out with limited mobility

The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on shops, restaurants and bars, libraries, sports facilities, museums, theatres, cinemas and many other public places to make reasonable adjustments for people with mobility problems and disabilities to make you can access ensure their facilities in the same way as someone who does not have any mobility problems.

This may involve offering additional help and support, changing the way things are done or making changes to physical features of a building, including:

  • Ramps and grab rails to improve access for people with limited mobility
  • Information in different formats, such as audio transcripts
  • Induction loops for hearing aid users
  • Adapted toilet facilities and changing rooms.

However, it is worth noting that the costs of these adjustments may be too high for small businesses and they may not be expected to make it.

Planning ahead 

Whether you are planning a big day out or just want to go shopping somewhere you haven't been before, it may be a good idea to call the shop or venue in advance to make sure that you will be able to do everything you want to.

Most well-known places will offer additional help and support. Whether a ramp for your wheelchair, additional seating if you get tired, special facilities such as disabled toilets, or sometimes access to sign language if you experience hearing loss. Staff may be able to help, and disabled parking is usually available. You will have to contact each organisation individually to find out what help is available. Most places will provide information about disability access and facilities on their website. If you are unsure, it's always best to give them a call and ask.  



Equipment to help you get around

If you have difficulty with getting out and about, there is specialist equipment available to make life easier for you. Perhaps you’re recovering from an injury or operation or you may have permanent difficulties with walking. Walking equipment can help improve your balance and stability and reduce the risk of falling.

  • Walking sticks offer greater stability and balance. They come in different styles, for example wooden or metal and in various weights.
  • Crutches help you move around without putting weight on your affected leg and are usually aimed at short-term use.
  • Tripod and quadruped walking sticks have a broad base consisting of either a three or four-point ‘legs’. They are free-standing and offer you more support than a standard walking stick. 
  • Walking frames have a much larger base than other walking equipment, providing even greater balance and stability when walking. They can come either with, or without wheels, and are available in various shapes and sizes. 
  • Mobility scooters and wheelchairs enable you to remain seated and travel further and for longer. There are lots of different manual and motorised scooters and wheelchairs. 


  

Where to buy equipment

The following organisations provide a wide range of products to help with mobility, as well as other equipment to help you on a daily basis:

Living made easy
Phone: 0300 999 0004
Web:www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk

Disabled Living Foundation
Phone: 020 7289 6111
Web:www.dlf.org.uk
Email: info@dlf.org.uk

AskSARA
Address: Disabled Living Foundation Unit 1, 34 Chatfield Road Wandsworth London SW11 3SE
Phone: Head office 020 7289 6111 or for advice or equipment 0300 999 0004
Web:asksara.dlf.org.uk
Email: info@dlf.org.uk

Further information

 

Useful contacts:

Community Partnership for Richmond, Kew, Ham, Petersham,Teddington or The Hamptons
Phone: 020 8831 6464
Web:www.commpartnership.co.uk
Email: advice@commpartnership.co.uk

GoLocal for Sheen, Mortlake, Barnes, Twickenham or Whitton
Phone: 020 8973 1877
Web:www.golocal.org.uk
Email: hello@golocal.org.uk

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971
Email: adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk