We have made an investigation regarding the situation for wheelchair-bounds in the small town Vänersborg, Sweden. Life for disabled persons can be hard, especially in towns with old not so well-adapted buildings, like this one. Our investigation gave a mixed result which I am to discuss in this article.

To start off our research we wrote down a number of questions on a paper sheet which we brought to the stores we were to interview. The stores we went to for interviews were WILLY:s and Lindex and in addition to this we made an observation of for example which stores and barber-shops had high stairs at the entrances and so on. We also measured the aisles in both WILLY:s and Lindex.

The results we got were, as I mentioned, mixed. At both stores the staff we interviewed was very aware of the needs of wheelchair-bounds and prepared to help at any time. The aisles in WILLY:s were wide enough for a wheelchair to easily get through. In Lindex on the other hand, some aisles were not even nearby wide enough. But the staff there was also prepared to help if it was needed. One thing that was not adapted at all was stairs and narrow entrances to almost all barber-shops in town, this is something that needs to be changed.

As a conclusion everybody we asked are optimistic about the development of the adaptations that need to be made. There is still a lot that has to be done, like widening entrances and adding ramps for example, but everyone is prepared and willing to help make things easier for people who need extra assistance. I would say that the future looks bright, the municipality of Vänersborg is aware of these problems and changes are planned in a not too distant future. Everyday is a day closer to a more adapted, equal society.

By: Gunilla Larsson