WANT to help make shops and services more accessible for disabled people? You’ve got until Monday to let the Government know you’re interested!
THE Government plan to recruit disability champions from key sectors in business including retail, hospitality, sport, construction and manufacturing to promote the benefits of being inclusive to their own industries.
Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that disabled people often miss out.
“There are some great examples of inclusive businesses that are passionate about driving social change.
“That’s why I’m asking them to champion a war against inaccessibility, and encourage other businesses to benefit from the purple pound – the spending power of disabled people (estimated to be £249 billion).
“Increasing accessibility is the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense too.”
Leroy Binns, who has a learning disability and works as a Campaigns Assistant at Mencap, said: “I think having disability champions in businesses is a very good idea because people with a learning disability still find lots of places and businesses inaccessible because of negative attitudes from staff and the public.
“Sometimes when I’m out in shops or restaurants, staff can’t understand me and don’t make any effort to either, or they ignore me.
“I also get funny looks from staff and the public, and some people I know have been called names, such as the ‘R’ word as well.
“I think staff should have training on how to communicate with people with a learning disability and how they can help so that people feel like they are welcome.
“Large businesses and shops should also install Changing Places toilets so that people with profound and multiple disabilities and people less able to walk can use a toilet safely when they’re out and away from home.
“There is a lot of room for improvement in making things more accessible for people with a learning disability, and I think having champions will help businesses understand how to make people with a learning disability feel more included and welcome.”
Expressions of interest to become business Sector Champions are being invited from successful business people with strong networks, who are self-motivated in leading social change for disabled people. The roles will be voluntary, unpaid and initially for one year.
Deadline: Monday January 16