Here at AGA, we’re passionate about accessibility and many of our services aim to help maintain people’s independence in their own home, that’s why we were delighted to see the success of the UK’s first accessible shopping day on Tuesday, 13thNovember.
Purple Tuesday is a national day dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the shopping needs of people with disabilities or impairments, and although this was the UK’s first, it aims to transform their experience on the high street 365 days a year.
AN ACCESSIBLE HIGH STREET
Endorsed by the government, the initiative has been co-ordinated by the disability organisation Purple and leading brands including Argos, Asda and Sainsbury’s pledged their support to introduce new measures to make the shopping experience more inclusive for disabled customers.
Estimates put the collective spending power of disabled people and their families (the ‘Purple Pound’) at £249bn. However, research by the Department for Work and Pensions puts both shopping and eating and drinking out in the top three most difficult experiences for disabled people based on accessibility.
WHAT CAN BE IMPROVED?
Nearly one in five people in the UK has a disability or impairment, and more than half of households have a connection to someone with a disability.
“There’s a vast array of adjustments retailers can make that will have a significant impact, and many that can be implemented quickly,” explains Mike Adams, CEO of Purple. “Customer service is a perfect example – as part of Purple Tuesday we’ll be providing a simple training kit to help in-store staff feel confident in assisting disabled shoppers.”
“Less than 10% of companies have a dedicated strategy for targeting disabled customers. Fundamentally, Purple Tuesday isn’t about a single day in the year but encouraging lasting change that creates a virtuous circle between businesses and disabled consumers.”
IS IT JUST ONE DAY?
Purple says that this is the beginning of a year-round campaign to ultimately improve the shopping experience for people with disabilities. Often disabled people feel ill-served at retail, but quiet hours in stores, shops that are easier to navigate and better parking facilities all help to provide a more welcoming environment.
Purple’s initial target was to get 50 companies to each make a new long-term commitment to improving the experience of disabled shoppers, however, by the time 13thNovember came around, the figure had reached 700!
The event was designed to “demonstrate to retailers that there are things that can be done at no cost” and to “start some momentum for businesses to see disabled people as, first and foremost, customers,” says Adams.
AGA promote independent living as part of everyday life, and we aim to provide a quality of life that is liberated by choice and delivered with excellence. We can help provide great accessibility in your own home and have over 50 years’ experience in assessing and providing tailored mobility solutions.
Call the AGA team to find out more about our specialist solutions for every individual who has mobility or disability requirements: 01449 720809