Calls to make Midhurst and Petworth workplaces more accessible

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CALLS have been made for in Midhurst and Petworth workplaces to be made more accessible for disabled people in the wake of the government’s back to work scheme.

While it’s felt access is good in general for shopping, those involved in campaigning for better access for the disabled feel the city is falling behind in helping people with disabilities get back to work.

There are 3,560 residents claiming disability living allowance in the district.

The government is spending billions of pounds offering incentives to employers to take on those out of work.

But former head of county wide disabled charity, Voice for Disability, Roland Higgins said finding employment for disabled people would not count for anything if they could not get into work.

He is now vice-chairman of the Chichester Access Group, which is aiming to improve access in the area. “Shops and banks and everything else have been really good in making themselves accessible but only at the ground floor,” he said.

“There are very few businesses that simply work on the one level.

“So they can cope with a disabled customer, but they have not got the capacity to employ a disabled person.”

Chairman of the group Barbara Teasdale said: “Most people that are disabled would love to work, but if they cannot get into work there’s no point.

“If offices are upstairs, or doorways are too narrow or there’s not the room to get around inside on a wheelchair, it doesn’t matter.”