#BreakingBarriers to shopping

For many of us, shopping is a part of everyday life, a necessity.

For someone with a learning disability, going to a shop can be an experience filled with anxiety, worry, confusion and fear.

Without realising it, many of our local shops are filled with barriers, preventing those with disabilities from accessing the most basic of services.

With the onset of lockdown, new safety measures and ever-changing guidelines, shopping has become a very difficult experience for people with learning disabilities.

Did you know?
According to research conducted by disability organisation, Purple:
-	the ‘purple pound’ is estimated to be £249 billion a year
-	more than half of survey respondents reported struggling to make purchases of a product/service due to their disability
-	56% of survey respondents agreed that improving staff understanding about different disabilities would encourage them to spend their disposable income 
-	75% of disabled people surveyed have had to leave a store or website, unable to go through with their purchase because of their disability

Will you support us in #BreakingBarriers?

At Sunnybank, we hope to use our experience to ease the anxiety of our members who feel prohibited from visiting shops, and to guide our local shops and businesses in the small steps they can take to break down these barriers and make their shops and store fronts inclusive for everyone.

Will you support us in #BreakingBarriers?
Here are five simple ways to help make your shop more inclusive
1.	Find out about the sunflower scheme - sunflower lanyards indicate that someone has a hidden disability and might need some additional support. Please ask anyone wearing one if they would like some assistance
2.	Have a sign on your window to say you support the Sunflower lanyard scheme and register on the hidden disabilities website
3.	Ensure your signage uses clear symbols instead of (or as well as) words  – not all customers are able to read
4.	Loud noise and music can make it difficult to concentrate and communicate, particularly when wearing face masks. Consider lowering music volume in store
5.	Share photos and videos online of the changes in your shop so people can see what it is like before they arrive, this will relieve a lot of anxiety and confusion

Who’s doing it well?

We are delighted to see that some of our local shops and businesses are already making great efforts to create a safe and welcoming environment for their disabled customers.

We’ll be sharing examples of local shops doing it well on our social media channels over the couple of weeks so please keep your eyes peeled.