13 May Buggie Buddies Ashley N’Cole Shopping Program Announced
My colleague, Ellen Shackelford, President of Connections Access Consulting Services, LLC (CACS) is our disability etiquette expert. Her organization just launched an innovative and valuable program called Buggie Buddies Ashley N’cole® Shopping Program. It is a concept developed to assist people with disabilities and the aging population, who may have difficulty shopping independently. CACS provides training to retail outlets such as grocery stores, retail outlets and malls to encourage sensitive customer service on behalf of their customers in need of special attention.
Their goal is to serve as advocates while providing training and knowledge in addressing the issues of inclusion of people with disabilities and the aging population.
Ellen Shackelford’s Personal Story – After an injury, Ms. Shackelford was faced with the use of a wheelchair for mobility and was unaware how difficult grocery shopping would become until she was forced to perform the task. She quickly realized she was unable to push a grocery cart around the store, or sit in one of those motorized carts. The location of her wheelchair parking while using the motorized cart would propose a problem: First of all, to transfer would be a task in itself. Secondly, the baskets on those carts are so small which limits purchase choices. Thirdly, the shelves would be out of reach; to simplify the situation someone standing would have to retrieve the items off the shelves. The concept of Buggie Buddies Ashley N’cole® shopping program would omit the difficulties people with disabilities and the aging population have when grocery shopping; and others across the United States would take the place of little boys and girls helping mommy shop, by standing or sitting on their laps to reach items on the shelves, pushing the cart, or holding that little red shopping basket in the store. Everyone should be able to enter a store and receive service.
People with disabilities, especially ones who use adaptive equipment (i.e., wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, motorized wheelchair etc…) have difficulties pushing grocery carts, transferring to store provided motorized grocery carts, and reaching shelves. The program set up will be able to offer assistance and provide accommodations to those individuals, who have difficulties shopping independently. It will omit the hassle one feels when going to the store while attempting to shop independently; even if it is for just a few items. There should always be a sales associate on hand to offer assistance. Buggie Buddies Ashley N’cole® Shopping Program will be beneficial in the following ways: • Independence while shopping with assistance from sales associates within the stores • Confidence: A person with a disability/elderly would be more apt to patronize businesses, which provide accommodations and extended customer service • Create a Win-Win situation for everyone • Customers will be able to shop with dignity • Inclusive environment • Consumer loyalty.
For additional information Contact – Ellen Shackelford 757.827.0783 or Marguerite Edmonds 757.952.7827