High Street retailer, Marks & Spencer, has come in for criticism after it launched a clothing line aimed at children living with disabilities, despite having no changing rooms or toilets suitable for the severely disabled.
The backlash has come from Laura Moore, whose nine-year-old son, William, is diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
For the past two years, Ms Moore has been campaigning for M&S to install disability-friendly bathrooms, which would include a hoist and changing table, but the retailer has so far refused. Lawyers for the organisation have cited “considerable disruption”, the financial investment required and the “negative impact” such an undertaking would have on other services as reasons for not making the requested adjustments.
The new range of clothing incorporates Velcro backs and inserts for feeding tubes, but Ms Moore is angry with the retailer for “discriminating against the same people they are trying to make money from”.
She says that the facilities offered by Marks & Spencer may include rails and emergency cords, but they remain unsuitable for people who can’t lift themselves out of a wheelchair. Her campaign has earned her more than 13,000 followers on Instagram and its popularity has caused M&S to have a rethink, promising to consider installing accessible toilets in new stores, but not in the existing ones.
Commenting on the new clothing line, Ms Moore said: “I am in no way disputing the products, or the research it took to design them. But it is nothing short of hypocritical to make clothes – and try and make money – out of people they do not want in their store.”
She added: “They want money from me, but they do not want to make the adjustments necessary for my son to visit the store selling clothes specifically made for children like him.”
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