Shaker Help Request

by Shaker The White Lady

Hello, Shakers! I'm here to ask for your help.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been going to the same dentist. The premises are on the first floor of a tenement row…and the only way up to them is down a narrow hall, and up an equally narrow spiral staircase. Even if there were a lift up to the dentist, or maybe one of those electric chair lifts that go up the stairs, the hall would be too narrow to allow a person using a wheelchair to navigate it.

I even remember a time when they were redoing the reception of the surgery, and so to get in and out of the building, patients had to make use of a fire escape which was even more narrow and twisty than the usual stair. (I should probably point out that all this is from my own perspective as someone who has extreme difficulty in navigating spiral staircases – other patients may have experienced things differently.)

The surgery is an accessibility nightmare on so many levels, from the ones I just mentioned (no access for wheelchair users/crutch users/people who are too unsteady on their feet to attempt a spiral staircase), to the complete lack of Braille information, to the fact that, once a patient manages to reach the reception area, there are more steps (steep ones, I might add) leading to different facilities within the surgery. The staff realise this, and are vocal in their complaints about it, which is why I am asking for your help now.

After about five years (or more, don't quote me on that), the surgery has finally managed to purchase the property immediately below it. Patients are being encouraged to hand in their views on what they want, whether it be new treatments rooms, more space for cosmetic/dental surgery, etc. When I saw the news about the new premises, it occurred to me that this could be a brilliant opportunity to lift my teaspoon, and at least try to get some (of the unfortunately many) accessibility issues solved.

I know that the surgery is planning to have a new, bigger reception area downstairs, and I am under the impression that they plan to install a lift, but other than that, I have no information. So I'm turning the floor over to you, Shakers. Tell me what you would like to see in this new, hopefully improved dentist surgery.

Here you will find information about the basic access required under the UK's Disability Discrimination Act, but it is only basic access. In the comments, please leave everything you can think of, from wheelchair ramps to flashing fire alarms that suit both people who are deaf, and people who have epilepsy.

Thank you in advance! I'll let you know how it goes.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus