Shopping in the city centre of Amsterdam is becoming more accessible. The Dutch Marlies van St. Annaland started the initiative Winkeltoegankelijkheid (Shop Accessibility) aiming to raise awareness and increase the number of barrier free shops. As Amsterdam is an old city, many shops are located in old buildings. High steps at entrances are very common and the majority of steps is higher than 20 cm.
With her initiative to increase the accessilbity of the shops, Marlies went to the Amsterdam city council and got the support she wanted. Even though she got the councils' support, Marlies was on her own convincing the shop owners to accept a ramp and making sure they would put it down every day. The majority of shop owners was approachable and accepted the ramp, however she did and is still facing resistance from a few shop owners.
For now, the initiative has resulted better accessibility in the two of the major shopping streets in Amsterdam. The streets where ramps are in place are:
For more information, visit the Dutch website Winkeltoegankelijkheid.