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Now that I'm here . . . won't you please spare me a headache?

Barrier: Product scales in grocery stores that are mounted in a position where people run into them.

Law: The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Accessibility Code are applicable because both require that halls, walkways, corridors and circulation spaces must have clear head room of at least 80 inches (6 feet, 8 inches).

What can you do to correct it?

Today: If you feel this barrier is a problem in a grocery store that you often patronize, you might start by bringing it to the attention of the manager in a friendly, helpful manner.

Tomorrow/Next Visit: If nothing has been done on your next visit to the store, there are several options for you to consider. You might want to speak to the manager again to ask what action he is considering. You might consider writing a letter to the manager, perhaps with a carbon copy to a local newspaper.

Advocacy tips: It is always best to begin your advocacy with a smile and a pleasant tone of voice! The person you are approaching is probably unaware of the barrier that you have encountered or noticed. They are probably also unaware of the law or does not care about people with disabilities. It is very likely that the manager has some personal experience with a person with a disability, but simply is not aware of the specific barrier you have noticed. You can always escalate later if no changes are made. First, try to educate the manager — win her/him over to your point of view — make an ally of her/him! Let them know that other people feel the same way that you do — and perhaps are not coming into the store because of the problem. Take along a friend for moral support. If nothing happens, dig in your heels! If the responsible parties with whom you have communicated have done nothing about your request, now you should consider taking remedial steps to bring in outside technical assistance and/or enforcement officials.


Council for Disability Rights

Knowing your rights is the easy part. Exercising them can be a bit trickier.

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