How To Make Shopping More Accessible For People With Disabilities

Consider every perspective when creating in-store and online experiences.

For able-bodied individuals, a store's layout remains an afterthought. They can navigate the narrowest of aisles, and cram inside the smallest of fitting rooms. But, for people with disabilities, clothes shopping comes with countless caveats. While some clothing brands are becoming more inclusive, there is much work to be done as most stores and brands still fail to completely account for those who have special needs. With this in mind, Frances Ryan (@DrFrancesRyan) asked her followers with disabilities what factors would make clothes shopping more accessible for them:

Twitter users shared their primary grievances, effectively demonstrating that most establishments are designed with only the able-bodied in mind. While there are surely more improvements the clothing and retail industries could make to aid people with disabilities, here are some of the most popular requests Ryan received in response to her initial call for suggestions:

1. Feature product images that demonstrate all poses and positions (i.e. sitting) for those who prefer to shop online.

2. Allow partners and caregivers into fitting rooms to help those who struggle to dress themselves.

3. Provide thorough product descriptions so the visually impaired can make educated purchase decisions.

4. Improve accessibility in the changing room and at the checkout to streamline the shopping experience.

5. Create products that specifically cater to people with disabilities so they may maintain their independence.

6. Establish an environment that soothes and welcomes people of all circumstances and needs.

7. Design clothing that accommodates all body types to ensure no one feels ostracized or unseen.

Cover image via Pressmaster / Shutterstock

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