A government minister, Penny Mordaunt, has said that several industries need to urgently increase their representation of people with disabilities, including video games.
Mordaunt, the minister for disabled people, work and health said that she was surprised when research by the Department of Work and Pensions revealed that young people view the lack of disabled characters in video games as their top concern.
There are currently more than 11 million disabled people in the UK and the spending power of their households is estimated at around £250 billion. However, Mordaunt claims that as everyday products and services don’t cater for disabled people, they are being excluded from opportunities and experiences that many members of the greater public might take for granted.
To fix this, Mordaunt has appointed several sector champions, and these champions will be looking to amplify the voices of disabled employees and customers within their industries. There are 11 sector champions in total, spanning industries from retail to hotels and advertising. The champion for the video games industry has been named as Dr Jo Twist, OBE, well known in the international games industry as the CEO of UKIE. UKIE is the trade body for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry, with direct lines to many aspects of the industry.
Mordaunt said in a statement: “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."
“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.”