Monday, August 29, 2011

Accessibility FAIL: Dymocks Sydney (George St)

OMG the fail.  Dymocks Sydney is the flagship branch for Dymocks in the heart of Sydney.  Sure, there's a great range of books on their accessible ground floor, but imagine my amazement when I asked where the lift was to get to the equally huge second floor.

"Oh, there's no lift, just the escalators.  If you know what you want, I can get it for you?" said the smiling and oblivious assistant.

Riiiight.  Apparently people don't need to look at the books, or go to the cafe upstairs.  Or browse.
[Image credit] Here is the upstairs cafe, being enjoyed only by the able bodied.
The ultimate irony is that the second floor is where all the non-fiction is.  So yeah, the books about disability.  Oh, and the children's books (you can't really get a stroller up, either). 

A disclaimer, I didn't have the wheelchair this trip.  I reckon it still counts, though.  I did have a kid asleep in her stroller, and was unable to get the stroller up the escalator.  So Accessibility FAIL.  


Anonymous said...

Bookshops are seriously some of the WORST shops for accessibility that I have come across. (Along with post offices.)

And now they're all whinging because we're moving to internet bookshops - which we can actually access. I'm afraid I'm firmly in the "call yourself a wahhhmbulance" category with those particular corporate whinges (at least as far as book chain management is concerned; I do feel sorry for the workers).

How old is this shop? Is a call to the HREOC in order?

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I have read your comments regarding access to the upper floor in our Dymocks George St store and would love to discuss this with you, my name is Brian Skyum, Business Manager for George St, please contact me on 02 9224 0411.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Brian. I, for one, am interested in what you have to say, and I'm sure others in this readership community are also. How about discussing it with all of us, 'on the record'? We're right here.

Selene said...

I agree, I'd rather discuss it publicly, unlike most accessibility issues, which are swept under the carpet. Though it's appreciated that someone came to comment here.

Plus I'm not sure what there is to say, there's room for a small elevator, surely, so why isn't there one?

@lauredhel, I completely agree with the online shopping comment, and find bookshops (and post offices!!) in general to be poor on accessibility.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I am glad that they want to discuss it. I have seen the wheelchair, and know the capabilities, and you can do a wheelchair ascent cheat (roll on, grab sides, and try to hold up body weight as the front casters rise on the escalator stair above) - then watch manager at top trying to make you feel you just broke the law by using the means they provided. And then watch the security go ballistic when you do it BACKWARDS to get down.

It isn't illegal, but it does happen to be a liability waiting to happen. a small museum sized lift is the least expensive - or, I am guessing they have a lift in the back for moving boxes of books.

Bookstores ARE the worst (how about those one step down or two step down open plan ones!). But they seem like they want to talk. Woo hoo, a chance to make a difference? Will there be a further update?

Selene said...

That's what I thought, too, Elizabeth, they MUST have a lift somewhere.

I am going to contact them and will update when I do!

Snail's chair, with her in it, is nearly 70 kilos, I am getting a bit too worried about accidents to do a wheelie up the escalators these days. I like the picture you're painting, though!

Mim said...

I know this is an old post but I just stumbled across it after not being able to get to the kids books in Dymocks this afternoon. I've emailed them, will see what comes of it - although I'm not hopeful.

I've only been on wheels a few years (and can do without on a good day).

But working in the CBD, I've just reached my limit of accepting where I can't get to. Lots of buildings with one tiny step blocking me from getting in. Or having to go half way around the block to the "back" entrance (I'm looking at you Lincraft).

I'm aiming to email a complaint every time I hit a problem from now on, maybe it'll make at least a little bit of difference.

Selene said...

Good luck with it, Mim! I was impressed that they replied here on the blog, but it's pretty slack nothing is available for wheelchair access in 2015!!