York’s Wheelchair-Accessible Indie Coffee Shops and Cafes

pippa sat at table wearing jumper and looking down at tea cup in hands, with tea pot on table in front

If you’ve ever visited York, you’ll know it’s an absolute goldmine for cute and quirky independent businesses. You could visit a different indie coffee shop for breakfast every weekend, and in my former years as a student (prior to becoming a wheelchair-user), that’s pretty much what my friends and I did.

Fast forward a few years to the present day, however, and finding a local, wheelchair-accessible spot for a cuppa and a bite to eat when you’re out and about is infinitely more difficult, especially when you’re trying to stay away from chains of Starbucks and Costas and support local businesses and tourist attractions instead.

Sadly, there’s a real lack of accessibility awareness in York centre, especially for such a well-known touristy spot. Many organisations are quick to defend themselves with excuses of listed-buildings and historical accuracy, rather than liaising with disabled visitors and making a commitment to at least trying to improve their accessibility. And in my eyes, it’s a real shame.

That said, there are still a fair few lovely spots committed to welcoming disabled visitors, including the following…

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Accessible York – Encouraging Inclusive Tourism in North Yorkshire

pippa in power-chair, pointing to outdoor sign reading 'speed limit within this yard 15MPH' and laughing

Back in September 2013 when I moved to York for university, it’s safe to say my new friends and I fully made the most of all the city had to offer. As a non-disabled student at the time, there were no barriers holding us back from exploring the tourist attractions and thriving indie businesses that York is increasingly becoming well-known for… besides the pesky student budgets and the occasional hangover, of course.

However, part-way through my degree, chronic illness inconveniently invited itself into my life. And as I’m sure you can imagine, things have never since been the same. Whilst my health has declined over the last 5 years and I’ve become an ambulatory wheelchair user, my eyes have been well and truly opened to the unrelenting and often invisible obstacles that disabled and chronically ill people face in day-to-day life. And the tourism industry here in Yorkshire, wonderful as it is, is no exception to this.

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Aids and Equipment for Managing Fatigue [AD]

pippa sat cross legged on bed holding up sign that says 'it takes me twice as much energy to achieve half as much as my peers'

[AD] This piece is sponsored by CareCo Ltd and features affiliate links. More information can be found at the bottom of this post!

Something that comes up a lot in conversation is how I negotiate living independently whilst dealing with long-term chronic fatigue. And whilst that’s a broad topic to tackle all in one go, I thought I’d begin to answer that question by sharing some of the aids and equipment I use in day-to-day life that help me to manage my symptoms.

There are various things out there to assist with practical tasks, and technological advances are increasing by the day, but I wanted to think about how these could be applied to fatigue in particular. You’ll see from the list below that the items I use range massively: some are bigger, more costly mobility aids specifically for disability, whilst others are cheap and cheerful household products.

I’m sure that anybody reading this will already be aware that different things work for different people, and it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle. And for me, the things that work include the following…

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Chronically Ill Entrepreneurs: Ones To Watch in 2019

I once saw a quote reading “when you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance”, and it really stuck with me. I absolutely love the sentiment of supporting independent creators, all the more so when I know they’re affected by long-term illness too. Employment and disability don’t always go hand in hand, something I’ve discussed many a time, and as I’m sure any of the following people will agree, it’s no small feat trying to earn a living when dealing with your health is a full-time job in itself.

Below is a super quick post that’s been sitting in my drafts for far too long, where I’ve highlighted some of my favourite chronically ill entrepreneurs and their businesses. I’m sure there are dozens more I could mention too, but the following are all organisations I’ve purchased from myself in the past and cannot speak highly enough of. And if you have some favourites of your own, do tell! I’d absolutely love to hear them in the comments below.

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