Lisa Grady: “Accessibility is hard to find”

Story by Casey Lessard

It’s not easy to find wheelchair accessible buildings in this area, but it was a challenge Lisa Grady knew she had to overcome for her business, Sport-Med.
“Accessibility is hard to find,” says Grady, whose store sells aids for people with mobility issues. “We manufacture orthotics, orthopedic products, and we sell aids for daily living – walkers, wheelchairs, bathroom aids. People who require those items usually have some sort of disability, and need help getting around. Plus, our clientele are mostly in their retirement years. They need space to get in and out, and they have to have railings to hold on to things.”
Grady notes that many commercial buildings in Grand Bend used to be homes, and therefore it’s harder to find one with a level entry or wide doors.
“I get people almost daily complaining that they can’t get into someone’s store,” she says. “We have an aging population. We have a large retirement community here. These elderly people are going to require these services. You just have to deal with it.”
Being able to allow a customer to maintain their dignity is another good reason to make a business accessible.
“They don’t necessarily want to come in and ask for help. It’s bad enough for them that they have to use the aids,” she says.
For people who can’t come to the store, as with other store owners, Grady offers in-home service.
“If they require a rental, like a bath bench or clamp-on grab bar, we’ll take the product to them. A lot of the time, it’s a person who has had a knee replacement or hip replacement. They need a walker, raised toilet seat, and bath or shower bench,” installed before they get home from surgery, she notes.
If you need ideas on how to make your home or business more accessible, Grady’s store is located at 38 Ontario Street South.