Gurdail Dubb Retailer

Says: I do not have a ramp outside my shop because there is only a one-and-a-half inch difference between the level of the pavement and my shop entrance.

If people need to come into the shop with pushchairs or buggies there is quite a bit of space on the side to leave them there. I know lots of other retailers who have adapted their shops for disabled access, but I do not have any customers in wheelchairs at the moment.

If a disabled customer came into the shop I would help them 100%. I would help them in and assist them around the shop.

We do have two customers who use mobility chairs and others with sticks and Zimmer frames, and we help them open the door and load shopping into their bags or baskets.

All our shelves are easy to reach. The highest is about five feet but I would help anyone who could not reach an item.

The expense of adding an access ramp outside is therefore not really worth it. I'm not on a main road or in a city centre, where there would be more need for disabled access. My shop is in a residential area.

James Lowman Director of public affairs, ACS

Says: The law says retailers have to take "reasonable" steps to make their business accessible to disabled people. It is also worth saying that retailers have a responsibility to make their business accessible, not just their premises.

What is reasonable? If my net annual profits are, say, £10,000 and physical changes to my shop would cost £20,000, it could be argued that this would not be reasonable. Often small changes alone are needed. You may have to put in ramps or install door bells lower down. You might have to stand 10 yards away from your shop and think what changes could be made. It could be a question of looking at shop layout to allow wheelchairs to get around properly.

Of course, people sometimes think disability equals wheelchair, but that's not always the case. You might have to explain to staff how to help people with hearing problems, for example. Training is extremely important.

Most cases can come down to attitude on the part of staff rather than physical changes. Often not making an effort to help makes disabled people more likely to go to litigation.

Agnes Fletcher ­Disability Rights Commission

Says: We have a national helpline regularly taking calls from people providing services for independent shopkeepers as much as from retailers themselves. We have also produced an authoritative guide to the requirements of the law.

Problems disabled people have when using a shop include negotiating their way around, which is a question of proper stock management as much as anything else. But it could also be a matter of looking at colour contrast or providing hearing loops for people with sight or hearing problems, for example.

An access audit is a good first step to spot issues that could cause problems. Training plays a very important role. The attitude of staff to disabled people could make all the difference.

Guide dogs are vital for blind or partially sighted people. Barring these dogs or making it difficult for them to gain access would constitute discrimination. The law does not say that Harrods and a corner shop have the same responsibilities to make adjustments for disabled people. It spells these out on the basis of size, resources and nature of retailer.