Scope caught out as its own shops fail access law

Scope has admitted that disabled people cannot get into 50 of its charity shops, three months after the legal deadline to make them accessible.

The disability charity said only 245 of its 295 shops are physically accessible, despite the October 2004 requirement of part three of the Disability Discrimination Act that disabled people are not excluded from public venues.

The charity has vigorously campaigned to ensure that businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cinemas, comply with the Act. On 1 October, more than 1,000 campaigners visited venues nationwide and found that only 19 per cent were fully accessible.

Scope said adjustments would be made to 21 of its inaccessible shops. The remainder, which for cost and practical reasons cannot be altered, will be vacated at the end of their current leases and new, accessible shops found elsewhere.

Polly Smith, chair of the British Council of Disabled People, said: "Scope should get its own house in order and start practising what it preaches."

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