After work I went to No Frills to pick up a few things. I use transit and I do not yet have one of those little carts you see people use to easily transport their groceries. Usually my friend and I go together with her vehicle to get a big order instead of a hundred mini ones. However, when I have to make a quick stop for eggs and milk I will test my strength instead.
I must say I prefer to go to grocery stores that have free carts. Talk about inaccessibility. I don’t know about you but I never have cash on me let alone a quarter. Most times I struggle with those terrible baskets. I understand that the grocery store has a lock feature on their carts to ensure their carts are returned and not left strewn about the parking lot. On the surface it is a smart tactic, after all, I want my quarter back too. In fact, one time I was so broke that I needed the quarter in my cart to meet the grocery order. You can imagine how that felt, “sorry, the quarter I need is in the cart.” I know you can imagine the scrutiny and judgment of the cashier and the complete shame I felt. But I digress.
While I was begrudgingly looking at the grocery cart carousel, I wondered how persons with disability (specifically persons with a wheelchair) complete the necessary task. And today, this popped up on my twitter:
Accessibility should not be about costs or expense because accessibility is a right for everyone. It is not something “other.” It should not be something that makes your organization stand out from the rest because it should be met in the first place. This mother sought independence, and that is what accessibility is about. She further challenges corporations to review the accessibility of their grocery stores. In Kenya, there has been advancements in introducing this assistive grocery shopping cart.
Grocery shopping is a necessary task, and to some, it is a distasteful one. Adding the inaccessibility on top of it should not make the experience that much more unenjoyable. For me, grocery shopping excursions are a fond memory from my childhood: pushing (or riding) the cart, on occasion asking mom for this or that and wondering if I would get it. One should not have to wonder if they have the independence to complete their grocery order, or worry about having THAT quarter. After all, accessibility should not be a frill.