The BBC has released a story about how the government is setting out to make businesses more accepting to the concerns of people living with disabilities. The goal of this initiative is to make businesses realise that by making themselves more inclusive to people with disabilities, they will not only increase the number of people their business can reach, but also make themselves more ethical and inclusive. Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, said, “As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs. These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.”
This is being headed up by the Department of Work and Pensions and will be run by seven champions representing different sectors.
The 7 sectors and champions are:
Helen Drury, corporate responsibility manager at shopping centre owner Intu (retail)
- Suzanne Bull, chief executive of Attitude is Everything (music)
- Huw Edwards, public affairs director at UKActive (leisure)
- Chris Veitch, co-founder of Access New Business (tourism)
- Robbin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels (hotels)
- Dan Brooke, chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4 (media)
- Sam Phillips, chief marketing officer at Omnicom Media Group (advertising)
- Michael Connolly, regional training and standards manager at OCS Ltd (airports)
- Trudie Hills, disability manager at Lloyds Bank (banking)
- Jo Twist, chief executive of UKIE (gaming)
These champions will work within their sectors to hear the concerns that people with disabilities have with businesses and work with the businesses to find a way to be more inclusive, and as a result, more profitable at the same time. “There are currently more than 11 million disabled people in the UK and the spending power of their households – ‘the purple pound’ – is almost £250bn,” a spokesperson from the Department of Work and Pensions said.