New “disabled champions” will be hired by the government to promote inclusivity to businesses missing out on the £249 billion annual spending power of disabled people.
The government will aim to use the status of the champions as influential leaders in their industries to promote the benefits of being inclusive to disabled people.
As poor access can restrict many areas of disabled people’s lives, champions will be chosen to represent six new areas: fashion, technology, countryside and outdoors, website accessibility, food and drink and product design.
Currently, there are 14 existing champions who are already said to be driving improvements to the accessibility of services and facilities in a range of sectors including music, tourism and banking.
Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, said: “By showing other businesses the importance of making disabled customers a priority, our new champions will ensure disabled people aren’t missing out on experiences and services which many take for granted.
“The music champion Suzanne Bull has launched a new industry taskforce aimed at improving the experience for deaf and disabled customers when booking tickets for live music events.”
Johnny Timpson is the disability champion for the insurance industry and Industry Affairs Manager at Scottish Widows. He is bringing together representatives from the insurance industry, regulatory bodies and charities for the first time to look at how to make the industry more transparent and inclusive.
Timpson said: “Walking the talk on diversity is essential for the insurance sector, and my champion role enables me to work with the industry to improve access to affordable insurance for disabled consumers.
“Becoming a champion has allowed me to bring key players to the table to agree on a clear set of actions for making the insurance industry more inclusive.”