Community Organization Spotlight: Sheetz Integrates Universal Design in Support of an Inclusive Community
On-the-go Americans have been stopping at Sheetz for more than 60 years. Sheetz is a family owned convenience store chain based in Altoona, Pennsylvania which strives to keep up with the busy pace of their customers’ lives. Central Pennsylvanians rely on Sheetz to fuel their cars and their bodies.
Some of Sheetz’s locations have started to integrate universal design, making the pit-stop experience more accessible for all patrons. Matt Seeley, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council (PASILC), is a wheelchair user with dexterity challenges. He has taken notice of accessibility improvements to local stores.
“[The Camp Hill] location has greatly expanded the aisles,” Matt said. “Now I can navigate around the store without fear of banging into display racks or other patrons.”
According to Matt, the touch screen computers at the Camp Hill location used to place orders have been lowered. “Although this is a minor and simple adjustment, I am now able to see the screen without having to spend time and effort maneuvering it before placing my order,” he explained.
Matt said that these accessibility improvements may or may not have been incorporated to assist with people with physical limitations, but having wider aisles and lower order stations certainly benefits more patrons including customers using baby carriers and strollers or walkers.
“People with disabilities are always seeking accessible services from organizations like Sheetz,” Matt said. “We have money to spend like everyone else and as the demand from people with disabilities grows, more companies should see the value in inclusive design that accommodates everyone. Sheetz’s integration of universal design shows their dedication to improving the Sheetz experience for ALL patrons,” he added.
The CILCP applauds Sheetz for striving to meet the needs of diverse customers by taking action to ensure inclusion for all!