UK: Charity Launches Disabled Retail Scheme
An innovative scheme launched by Nottingham-based charity awear is set to revolutionise fashion for 8.3 million disabled people in the UK.awear's store accreditation scheme is designed to encourage full and direct access to the latest styles for disabled people, despite restrictive shapes or sizes. To gain the accreditation, a shop or store must also ensure clothes are affordable and individually tailored for the lifestyle of the disabled customer. To qualify for awear accreditation a retailer must fulfil three specific standards, which cater for a wide range of impairments:· The store and its facilities must be easily accessible · There must be a high level of customer service· The store must offer a wide variety of choice concerning the goods and services for sale. These should be equal to those offered to non-disabled people. awear Clothing Forum Development Officer, Julian Wing, explained: "The awear accreditation scheme is designed to work positively with retailers. When a store has fulfilled the accreditation standards it will receive a certificate, window decal and point of sale material. A standard package of literature is also issued by awear, detailing how the retailer should promote itself as an accredited store. Just as important is the fact that accreditation status will ensure the store meets the legal requirements of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act, which many do not currently comply with." Volunteer for awear, James Exton, added: "The awear accreditation scheme is a unique opportunity for both retailers and disabled people. The spending power of disabled customers is greatly undervalued and the scheme will inevitably increase the business and sales of any accredited stores. Not only will a disabled person remain loyal to a store offering suitable access, quality customer service and a wide choice of goods and services, but family and friends will too."
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