UK: New Scheme Brings Fashionable Clothes To The Disabled
A new initiative that hopes to transform fashion for 8.3 million disabled people in the UK has been launched by Nottingham-based organisation AWEAR.AWEAR's store accreditation scheme has been designed to encourage full and direct access to the latest styles for disabled people, despite restrictive shapes and 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.The scheme is seen as having positive benefits for both retailers and disabled people. Not only is it expected to increase business and sales within accredited stores, but it will offer an improved shopping experience for disabled customers - whose spending power is greatly undervalued. According to AWEAR clothing forum development officer Julian Wing: "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 sales material."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 may currently unknowingly not comply with."To qualify, 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; and the choice of goods and services for sale must equal those offered to non-disabled people.
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