Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist OBE has been appointed as one of eleven sector champions in the UK to help improve the experiences of disabled people across the country. Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health Penny Mordaunt announced the appointments this week, with the aim of tackling the issues disabled people face as consumers.
There are currently more than 11m disabled people in the UK, with a combined spending power of £250bn. However, with several everyday products and services currently out of reach for disabled consumers, Mordaunt has found that many businesses are missing out and that disabled people are being regularly excluded from experiences and opportunities that many others take for granted.
The sector champions, who represent a broad range of different sectors from retail to fashion, will use their status as industry leaders to promote the benefits of inclusivity and amplify the voices of disabled customers and employees within their own industries. They will also increase accountability and challenge inequality in their sector, as well as highlight specific changes and improvements that will make a difference.
"As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs," said Mordaunt.
"These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.”
The sector champions are:
· Helen Drury, corporate responsibility manager at Intu (retail)
· Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything (music)
· Huw Edwards, public affairs director at UKActive (leisure)
· Chris Veitch, co-founder of Access New Business (tourism)
· Robin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels (hotels)
· Dan Brooke, chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4 (media)
· Sam Phillips, CMO at Omnicom Media Group (advertising)
· Michael Connolly, regional training and standards manager at OCS ltd (transport - airports)
· Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport Services (transport - buses)
· Trudie Hills, disability manager, Lloyds Bank (banking)
· Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of UKIE (gaming)