What is Purple Tuesday?

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Purple pound: what long-term changes can your business make to improve disabled customers' experiences?
Purple pound: what long-term changes can your business make to improve disabled customers' experiences?

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Purple Tuesday – the UK’s first day focused on making shopping and dining out accessible for disabled customers – took place today (Tuesday 13 November).

Disability organisation Purple said it was a chance for businesses to consider changes to improve disabled customer experience.

Almost one in five people has a disability or impairment, and more than half of households are connected to someone with a disability. This equates to a collective spending power worth £249bn, Purple said.

“Purple Tuesday is not simply about one day. It is what follows over the next 364 days and beyond,” said Mike Adams OBE, chief executive of Purple.

Purple pound

Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, said the ‘purple pound’ contained huge potential for businesses.

She said: “By failing to cater to their disabled customers, many businesses are missing out on the spending power of disabled people and are denying them the opportunity to enjoy something that many people take for granted.

“There is still time to get involved in this important initiative and I encourage businesses across the country to do just that – and reap the rewards.”

Inclusive experience

Kathryn Albany-Ward, chief executive of Colour Blind Awareness, which backed the day, called it a “fantastic opportunity” to highlight how “simple steps” could increase turnover.

“Here’s an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives by ensuring an inclusive retail experience everyone, including those with hidden disabilities such as with colour blindness,” she added.

“In these competitive and uncertain times, can you afford not to? Today isn’t about jumping on bandwagons, so make the most of it.”

Participating companies must make at least one commitment to improve accessibility in the long term.

The nature of a pledge will depend on the resources and needs of an individual business, the organisation said. However, Purple has made four key recommendations for companies that have just started to consider accessibility.

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1. Conducting an accessibility audit of your organisation

 

2. Providing disability-focused customer service training to your staff

 

3. Signing up to the Government’s Disability Confident scheme​ to demonstrate your commitment to becoming an inclusive workplace

4. Appointing a member of your board or senior leadership team as your organisation’s ‘disability champion’ to take ownership of accessibility issues.

Operators can access more information and resources on the above through Purple’s website.

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