On a recent shopping trip to the Conran Shop (pictured) in Fulham Road, London SW3, with a friend who is a wheelchair user, we only got as far as the entrance off Sloane Avenue. There was no disabled access.
An apologetic manager said he’d been told that a lift was not possible due to the building being listed. He helpfully suggested his staff would carry my friend to the lower floor, or alternatively we could use the goods lift which had no lighting. How demeaning.
My friend is an architect and I am an interior designer. We both deal with Disability Discrimination Act issues on a daily basis, and thought a lift could possibly be installed adjacent to the main stairs. However, even if we had made it to the lower or upper floors, the service counters had no accessible areas.
The Conran design team should visit the Victoria & Albert Museum’s new jewellery gallery, created by Eva Jiricna, where an elegant glass lift (a UK design) provides equal access for all.
Vivien Fowler, Consultant, Bennett Interior Design, London SE1