Thursday, 23 January 2014

You mean shopping with a disabled child doesn't have to be a nightmare?!

I've just read a post from one of my favourite blogs 'Love That Max' written by Max's mum, Ellen.

The post shares the story of a mum in Winsconsin who wrote to her local stores telling them how difficult it was to shop with her one and a half year old son who has cerebal palsy and asked if they could purchase a Carolines Cart which is an adapted shopping trolley developed by another ingenious mum of a child with additional needs. The cart costs just $850 (about £515) . Within a week one store had simply bought one. Talk about ensuring customer loyalty! You can read the whole post here.

Well I think we should take a lesson from Sandy and so here's my open letter to Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and ASDA (feel free to copy):

"Dear Sir/Madam

My son (Seth) is 6 years old and is physically disabled. He has needed to use supportive seating from birth and so was never able to use the child seats you fit onto your shopping trollies. Shopping became extremely difficult as I have to push him in his wheelchair with one hand and pull the trolley with the other. I tried using the wheelchair adapted trolleys but they are designed for adults in wheelchairs and don't fit.

Yes, I could get my shopping delivered but my son actually loves shopping; the bright lights, the food smells and especially the checkout beeps. Plus, as a parent of a child with additional needs I can sometimes feel isolated enough without another reason to keep me indoors. I have also tried asking for assistance with my shopping but I'm uncomfortable having a stranger trailing around after me.

The reason for this letter is to ask if you could provide adaptive seating in your shopping trolleys. One has been developed called the GoTo Seat. It fits into your existing shopping trolley child seat offering that vital extra support for disabled children. This only goes up to 2yrs old, however, so maybe you could provide some R&D support to produce your own adapted trolleys like Carolines Cart?

Yours faithfully

Jo Cousins (Ms)"