All businesses can benefit from becoming more disability aware. Providing opportunities for disabled people in business can foster innovation and growth within your business, and disabled customers bring with them some serious buying power.
So from a more diverse workforce to a wider customer base, the benefits speak for themselves.
The Purple Pound
With more than 7 million adults in the UK living with a disability, many businesses are missing out on the power of what’s known as the purple pound – that is, the buying power of the disabled population.
The spending power of the purple pound is estimated at around £2.74 billion – and many businesses are missing out on this entirely due to a lack of accessibility.
Making your shop or website accessible can open your business up to a huge pool of new customers. Many businesses have started to do this with innovations like autism-friendly hours at supermarkets, where lights and music are dimmed to allow for a more calming peaceful shopping experience. Adapting your business with measures like wheelchair-friendly ramps, text to speech functions on websites, and Braille signage can really improve the experience of a disabled customer.
There are countless other ways you can adapt your business to help disabled people, and many are not going to require a huge budget – and for those that are, there are many government grants available to businesses who wish to make their accessibility truly top notch.
Casting A Wider Net For Talent
It goes without saying that the wider pool of candidates for a job within your business you have, the more chance you have of ensuring that you find the best person for the job.
Making sure that your business is disability friendly is key to accessing that wider pool of jobseekers. Knowing that you have the accessibility for any potential disabled employee will mean that nothing is standing in the way of you giving the job to the most qualified person.
There is plenty of help out there for businesses wanting to improve their places of work to make them accessible to everyone. There are also plenty of resources out there to help you connect with disabled candidates like Careers With Disabilities. They also have great information on the benefits and funding available for businesses wanting to support disabled workers.
Tackling Double Discrimination
As women in business, we have all struggled with discrimination of some form over the years. This impact is felt even harder by women with disabilities. This has been described as the double discrimination gap.
The intersection between gender and disability discrimination is particularly felt among disabled women. They are more likely to be marginalised than their male counterparts, particularly economically. There has been a movement to change this economic gap but businesses need to do their part to bring about change.
It is well known that businesses with more women thrive with much better innovation, problem-solving, and inclusivity. Making your business accessible to disabled women can make a huge difference in the fight to make the world a fairer place for all.