Tuesday 1 November
DISABLED PEOPLE HIT HARDER BY COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS
- 68% of disabled people think they have been or will be more severely impacted by the cost-of-living crisis than those without disabilities*
- Against a backdrop of financial turmoil, businesses and organisations are advised how they can better attract disabled customers this Purple Tuesday
- Major London landmarks light up purple at Piccadilly and Canary Wharf
As UK inflation soars, 68% of disabled people think they have been or will be more severely impacted by the cost-of-living crisis than those without disabilities, according to new research by Purple, which brings people and businesses together to improve disabled people’s customer experiences.
Recent evidence indicates disabled households’ higher living costs and lower income are to blame, with nearly half of disabled households (48%) saying they have struggled to keep their home warm and comfortable at some point this year, compared to 30% of non-disabled households. Additionally, 29% of households where someone is disabled are in ‘serious financial difficulty’ compared with 13% of other households.**
The findings come alongside Purple’s new research that highlights how organisations and businesses can ensure disabled people – who make up 1 in 5 of the population – choose to buy their goods and services with them at a time when their spending is so constrained. With 70% of disabled people believing customer facing businesses cater more for people with visible disabilities than hidden disabilities and a further 70% having experienced poor customer service, businesses and organisations still evidently have vast room for improvement.
To guide businesses and organisations in addressing disabled people’s most common gripes and help turn them into loyal customers, Purple has outlined the following five tips:
- 1. Do not charge disabled people more to accommodate their needs (important to 78%)
- - 43% of respondents felt they are often charged more to use insurance services and more than a third (33%) feel they are charged more to use travel, leisure and automotive services.
- 2. Allow disabled people to pay a spontaneous visit, without having to plan in advance or find a workaround for their needs (important to 73%)
- - More than half (54%) of disabled people will not return to a venue that has inaccessible toilets and a further 48% will avoid those with inaccessible entrances and store navigation.
- 3. Employ disabled people (important to 70%)
- - Two thirds (66%) prefer brands that feature disabled people in their marketing and 52% prefer brands that are led by people with disabilities.
- 4. Make accessibility information easy to find on the website (important to 69%)
- - 50% of disabled people say they will not visit a place if their website is inaccessible.
- 5. Provide a choice of communication methods (phone, text, email) (important to 67%)
- - 62% of disabled people favour brands that can offer personalised services to meet their needs.
Many businesses have already outlined new commitments to make their product or service more attractive to disabled customers and help mark Purple Tuesday, a change programme for organisations of all sizes from all sectors to get involved in. Key partners include headline partner eBay as well as Allwyn, Whitbread, Boots, giffgaff, Zurich, Visit England, Landsec and many others.
Mike Adams OBE, Founder and Creator of Purple Tuesday, said:
“While disabled people have been disproportionally affected by the current cost of living crisis, they still have significant spending power. However, they’re simply going to take their business elsewhere if their needs aren’t met or they’re not getting a fair deal. Businesses have a lot to gain – especially in this current crisis – by taking steps to improve their approach and access for disabled people. These changes aren’t massive, off-putting, expensive ones, but simple adjustments that are easy to implement that will reap financial rewards.”
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride MP said:
“Disabled people deserve the same opportunities as everyone else to reach their full potential in all areas of society. Purple Tuesday is an important reminder for businesses to be more inclusive of disabled people and recognise the power of the Purple Pound, which is worth a staggering £274 billion.
“I know disabled people are especially impacted by the rising cost of living, which is why this Government is providing six million people with an extra £150 this year as part of a wider £37 billion package of support. We have also helped support 1.3 million more disabled people into work since 2017, through schemes like Access to Work and Disability Confident.”
Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact, eBay UK, said:
“The impact of the cost-of-living crisis is widespread, but not equal, and this Purple Tuesday it’s important to recognise the disproportionate challenges that disabled people are facing.
“At eBay, our goal is to create economic opportunity for all. This means ensuring that, whether you are a buyer, a seller, or an entrepreneur with a disability, you can unlock the possibilities of our platform and global community.
“In the face of a tough economic climate, businesses like us have more responsibility than ever to ensure no one is left behind.” - Chris Gale, Head of Social Impact, eBay UK.”
Davide Craven, CEO Allwyn, Incoming Licensee for the Fourth National Lottery License, said:
“We’re obviously delighted to continue supporting Purple Tuesday and its transformational work campaigning for the improvement of the customer experience for people living with disabilities. We have set out ambitious plans for when we take over the National Lottery in 2024, and we’ve started putting some of those plans in place. It’s imperative that change is present everywhere that someone comes into contact with the National Lottery – from how someone buys a ticket in shops; how easy it is to use the website and the app; to ensuring that advertising and marketing is engaging and relevant to people with disabilities. We’re building a better National Lottery for all and that work has started with our key partner, Purple.”
Hospitality company Whitbread, which owns brands such as Premier Inn, Beefeater and Brewers Fayre, has revealed that it is committing to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, which enables people with invisible disabilities to discreetly indicate they may need additional support.
Steve Foster, Centre Director at Landsec said:
“At Landsec we shape places that create value for our communities - that means curating spaces where everyone can come together and where anyone who visits has an exceptional experience. We therefore seek to make our offices, shopping centres and outlets as inclusive and accessible as possible. We’re proud to be supporting Purple Tuesday again for the fifth year, but we know that inclusion and accessibility needs to happen all year round to truly drive progress in our communities. Over the last 12 months we’ve been driving forward change and have plans to keep the momentum going.”
Simon Ewins, Managing Director for Premier Inn and Restaurants and the Executive Sponsor for Disability Inclusion said:
“We are delighted to be the hospitality sector sponsor for Purple Tuesday and launch the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in our hotels and restaurants across the UK. We’re proud to welcome millions of disabled customers, as well as people with long-term health conditions, to our hotels and restaurants across the UK every year. True inclusion never stands still – it’s a commitment that continually evolves and we are always looking for ways to improve our guest experience, which is why we’re so proud to be part of the global network. As an inclusive employer we also know it’s an initiative that will inspire our team members, some of course who themselves have disabilities, and we are therefore really looking forward to getting our restaurants teams as well as our very own ‘purple people’ behind Purple Tuesday both on the day itself and year-round.”
This year, Purple Tuesday has scaled up significantly to become a global event, with celebrations taking place today in Minnesota in the US, Pakistan, Dubai and Malaysia, as well as the UK. More than 6,000 organisations globally are so far using Purple Tuesday 2022 as an opportunity to make practical commitments to improve the customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year so they can take advantage of the $13tn Purple Dollar***/£276bn Purple Pound – the combined spending power of disabled people and their families.
Visit https://purpletuesday.co for more information.
Additional quotes for key sectors
Website Accessibility Software - assistive toolbar
Ross Linnett, Founder and CEO of website accessibility software specialist Recite Me, says:
"At Recite Me we are passionate about opening the conversation about accessibility and inclusion, so we are delighted our Partnership with Purple Tuesday allows us to do just that! Together we can raise awareness and create change. We can support the millions of people worldwide with a disability, who do not have equal access to services, experiences, information, and products."
Matt Manners, CEO & Founder of Human Resources company Inspiring Workplaces, says:
"Purple Tuesday is so important to the world and to us at Inspiring Workplaces.
We want to change the world through the world of work. At the heart of that mission is creating inclusive cultures. Cultures where you feel safe to be your authentic self without fear of reprisal. With 80% of disabilities hidden, it is more important than ever that we foster these safe environments for everyone not just the few.
“If we can make that change from within, we create people and cultures that are more compassionate and open to understanding. This will work its way through to a much better customer experience. Not only that but it will drive real change. Employees feeling empowered to demand improvements to their shop floors, hotels, offices etc. Making the world more accessible for everyone the world over.”
Rob Liddiard, co-founder and CEO of workplace messaging app Yapster, says:
"Yapster is the UK's leading communication platform for Retail, Hospitality and Supply Chain organisations (customers include Next plc, Caffe Nero, Krispy Kreme, BrewDog and many more). We are proud to be a Purple Tuesday partner because we see first-hand that millions of customer service workers would like to deliver more confident (and profitable!) services to disabled customers, but often lack the confidence and information to do so. We are inspired by Purple's mission to raise awareness of the Purple Pound and help companies unlock disabled customer spending - and we're proud to be working with Yapster customers to ensure disabled customer success stories are shared loud, proud and widely."
Ed Warner, Founder and CEO of accessible design specialist Motionspot, says:
“Motionspot has been a supporter of Purple Tuesday for many years, so we are delighted to be on board as the official Accessible Design Partner for 2022 alongside other partners who share our objective of improving the customer experience for disabled people. We hope that sharing our insights into design-led accessible design and the commercial successes it can deliver will inspire other progressive businesses from around the world to create more accessible and inclusive built environments.”
Emma Palmer Chief Executive of Eastlight Community Homes says:
“We are proud to be partnered with Purple for a second year to celebrate Purple Tuesday and support an initiative that focuses on improving the customer experience for people with disabilities across the globe. At Eastlight, we work with a wide range of individuals with disabilities and complex needs. It is imperative for us to create an environment that supports our customers and people. We have continued our journey with Purple this year by hosting a number of lunch and learns focussed on disability inclusion and introducing a Neurodiverse Recruitment Programme to Eastlight. We are passionate about working together with Purple to increase the accessibility and opportunity for disabled people in the Housing Sector.”
* Censuswide survey of 502 disabled adults, carried out between 10-13 October 2022
**Facing Barriers research by abrdn Financial Fairness Trust and University of Bristol
***up from $8tn: Summary Report - The Global Economics of Disability 2020.pdf