That’s because people who can’t use your shops are just shopping elsewhere – mostly in the high street chains in the other part of town. There are lots of other disabled people who are avoiding particular high streets or areas because they are inaccessible to them. Even if no-one asks you for a ramp as a business or service provider you are still expected to be able to provide access to your company. The Equality Act 2010 requires businesses to make adjustments in advance of disabled people coming to your shop or business. You can find more information about your responsibilities in the Equality and Human Rights Commission code of practice here.
A judgement that illustrates this was provided by District Judge Lettall in the case of Fogerty v Farjampour (Trading as Pizza Lavita) [Stockport County Court, 6th July 2015]:
“The defendant refers to the fact that he has not previously received complaints with regard to matters of this nature. Whether that be the case or not, in my judgment, is not significant. What is clear is that there is a breach of the [Equality] Act and the fact that others may not previously have been complaining about that should not influence the decision made.”
The absence of previous complaints is not a defense in respect of not making adjustments, because the law says they should be made in anticipation of a disabled customer attempting to access your goods and services.
One thought on “I’ve never been asked for a ramp before”
“Nobody has complained before” is something I hear all too often! Just because nobody has complained doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a problem for them.
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