Isle MP undertakes teen’s wheelchair challenge

Isle MP Andrew Percy with Jack Marshall of Belton.
Isle MP Andrew Percy with Jack Marshall of Belton.

Isle businesses are being called upon by MP Andrew Percy to review their access arrangements for disabled customers after he spent the day in a wheelchair.

Andrew was challenged by 16-year-old Jack Marshall from Belton, who was born with rare neurological disease called Moebius Syndrome, to go round in a wheelchair and try to access shops to get a perspective of how difficult it can be for people who are disabled.

Completing the challenge he said: “This task was a real eye-opener and I’m delighted that Jack challenged me to do this. I’ve known Jack for some time now and the work that he has done to raise money and awareness is just incredible.

“During the day, we tried to do everyday tasks and found that the overwhelming majority were incredibly helpful but we noticed some simple things that can still be done to make places more accessible.

“For example, in one store the doors were fully automated but the aisles were quite narrow for a wheelchair and had this layout been arranged slightly differently it could have been much more welcoming.” He added: “On other occasions, whilst the inside had been designed appropriately, the entrance was a challenge which may put people off.

“Obviously older buildings were built before disability access legislation but doing this task just showed how important appropriate access is.

“Whilst I carried this challenge out in Brigg, the lessons apply everywhere and I hope that businesses continue to look at what more can be done at their locations and perhaps have a go themselves to experience the challenges faced.”