Mobility aid for shopping — Scope | Disability forum
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Mobility aid for shopping

samb2017 Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited January 2018 in Research and opportunities
Dear fellow members,

Firstly, as a brand new member I would like to say hello to everyone!

My name is Sam. I am a GP and I have completed an Open University course on Design and Innovation. I am intent on trying to improve safety and quality of life of people with mobility difficulties; especially with regards to shopping, as someone I knew had a fatal fall whilst shopping.

In order to approach this, I thought I should first conduct some primary research with regard to problems faced by shoppers with mobility difficulties, back pain and other disabilities. I would be grateful if you could kindly take a few minutes to answer the following questions please. 

1. Have you got a mobility difficultly or any other disability? If so please elaborate eg osteoarthritis etc.

2. What is your age and gender? I understand if you don't want to answer this question but I ask because demographics would help when researching a solution.

3. What difficulties/ pain points do you face before, during and after your shopping journey?

4. What is your current method of overcoming these pain points or can they not be resolved using existing alternatives?

5. In your opinion, what would help to resolve above pain points? Please use your imagination and go to town on this one. There is no need to confine yourself to existing solutions!

It would be really helpful if you would be happy to go through the outcomes of this research endeavour. This would enable me to progress this further to an acceptable user-centred solution.

Thank you for your time and attention, it's much appreciated.

Best wishes for a fantastic 2018!



  • Neil2017
    Neil2017 Member Posts: 155 Courageous
    Hi @samb2017

    Welcome to tge forums.

    In my opinion there is already plenty of mobility disabled aids around already. The issue or challenges is making shopping centres more accessible to the elderly and/or disabled. For example there may be a number of benches out in the streets or pedestrianised areas, but there is often very little or nothing inside large stores unless you head for their cafes. 

    Some shops like garden centres seem to be supplying wheelchairs, which is a positive thing. Plus it has become mandatory to include disabled toilets. Disabled parking bays are also common. 

    Very little seems evens to be taken into account in conditions like dementia or even visual impairment in navigating around shopping malls. And it has even been said on national news that due to government cuts the provision of local authority run public toilets has been cut.

    And perhaps another thing not considered is mobility scooters. I do not use one, but there does not seem to be much provision for charging points or safe parking points if the person can manage to walk for a bit, unlike the provision of cycle racks. 

    Another issue of introducing another mobility aid is the ignorance to what it is by the general public. Example I am severely sight impaired and use s white cane but a lot of people do not understand what it means. Similar if you have s guide dog or an assistance dog.

    The continuing automation of shops using self service point of service terminals is reducing the need for so many staff and thus in turn making less staff available to help the disabled who can’t reach or see stuff.

    So personally more understanding of existing aids and the layout of stores and facilities is needed in my opinion.


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