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Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Awards2021 Sponsored by Microlink

Disability Smart Awards 2021

Welcome to Business Disability Forum’s Disability Smart Awards, sponsored by Microlink! Find out more about what they are about and how to enter

Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Awards2021 Sponsored by Microlink

Decide why you want to enter the Awards 

To showcase your great practices? To share insights?  

If you’ve defined why you want to win, you’ll probably have an idea of which awards and which categories you want to enter. So focus your energy on finding the brilliant examples which fit the criteria for these. Always consider great examples from your organisation on which you could base an award.  

Don’t underestimate the time needed 

A good award entry can take 4-6 weeks to put together. This allows enough time for research findings to be collated, several versions of the entry form to be made and different people will need to review the entry before signing it off.  

How much will it cost? 

Entering the awards is completely free and every submission received before the deadline will be reviewed by our panel of judges, so don’t miss out.  

Submission details 

Select your category, read through the criteria and download the entry form.

Complete a digital version of your submission(s) on our dedicated entry platform. 

When you are ready (but before the submission deadline) click submit at the end of your submissionThe submission deadline is 31 August at.17:00 GMT. 

Everyone will be notified if they have been successfully shortlisted or not.

If you need to provide your entry(ies) in a different format, please email dsawards@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk

The ceremony 

Those shortlisted can then attend our awards ceremony. We’ll confirm if it will be online or at a location in due course. All winners will be announced during the evening and there will be many opportunities to celebrate, promote and share your success on the global stage. 

Please email dsawards@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk if you require further assistance.

  1. Disability Smart Communications Team Award
  2. Disability Smart Customer Service Award
  3. Disability Smart Diversity & Inclusion Professional Award
  4. Disability Smart Environment Award
  5. Disability Smart Leader Award
  6. Disability Smart Learning & Development Team Award
  7. Disability Smart Procurement Team Award
  8. Disability Smart Recruitment Team Award
  9. Disability Smart SME Award
  10. Disability Smart Technology Award
  11. Disability Smart Workplace Adjustments Award
  12. Disability Smart Workplace Experience Award
  13. Disability Confident Impact Award
  14. Disability Confident COVID-19 Innovation Award
  15. Disability Confident Recruitment Award
  16. Disability Confident Mental Health in the Workplace Award

This Award will be given to an organisation or team that has created truly inclusive and accessible communications for disabled people.mikr

We want to reward and showcase an organisation that has embedded accessibility and inclusivity into all their communications with their workforce, customers, clients or service users and/or with the stakeholders including the general public.

If your organisation has embedded real change and is a leading light in improving how disabled people access information and communicate with everyone submit your application for Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Communications Award 2021.

DS Communications Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to an organisation who has provided excellent customer service not just to disabled people but to everyone.

We want to reward and showcase truly inclusive customer service from an organisation who that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If your organisation has risen to the challenges of the past year and ensured that you continued to serve disabled customers well despite the restrictions this is the Award for you.

DS Customer Service Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to a Diversity & Inclusion Professional who has made an outstanding contribution to furthering disability inclusion within their organisation and beyond.

We want to recognise, reward and celebrate an individual who has been working, perhaps behind the scenes and often unnoticed, to keep disability inclusion at the forefront of their organisation’s diversity and inclusion agenda.

DS D&I Professional Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to an organisation that has created beautiful, accessible and inclusive physical environments for everyone, including disabled people. We are looking environments that support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of everyone who lives, works or spends time in them and that are truly inclusive.

We want to reward and showcase truly inclusive design that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If the environments, you have created, have influenced tangible positive change and are leading lights in improving the lives of disabled people submit your application for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Environment Award.

DS Environment Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to an inspirational Leader who has led and overseen the implementation of real and tangible improvements for disabled people. We are looking for an individual who leads by example and uses their position to create a better environment for disabled people locally, nationally or globally.

We want to reward and showcase a Leader who has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If you are or know of a Leader who is a real change-maker, an influencer of tangible positive change, and a leading light in improving the lives of disabled people enter them for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Leader Award.

DS Leader Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to a Learning & Development Team that has created innovative, engaging and most of all, inclusive and accessible learning and development solutions for everyone, including disabled people.

We want to reward and showcase truly inclusive design or a Team that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If you work in a Learning & Development team that is making real changes, influencing tangible positive change, and is a leading light in improving the lives of disabled people submit your application for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Learning & Development Team  Award.

DS Learning & Development Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to a Procurement Team which has made significant strides in ensuring that products and services procured from suppliers and partners are accessible and inclusive for everyone who uses them, including disabled people.

We are looking for a Team who has embedded accessibility and inclusion into contracts for products and/or services with suppliers and partners; a Team who works with suppliers and partners to help them understand what accessibility and true inclusion means.

We want to reward and showcase truly inclusive procurement and a Team that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If your Team or organisation is a real change-maker, an influencer of tangible positive change, and a leading light in improving the lives of disabled people, submit your application for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Procurement Award.

DS Procurement Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to a Recruitment Team that has created innovative, engaging and most of all, inclusive and accessible recruitment campaigns that has resulted in greater numbers of disabled people obtaining work or accessing a profession.

We want to reward and showcase truly a Team that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If you work in a Recruitment team that is making real changes, influencing tangible positive change, and is a leading light in improving the lives of disabled people, submit your application for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Recruitment Team Award.

DS Recruitment Team Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to an organisation that is a great place to work. We are looking for an organisation that demonstrates that it really values the physical and mental health and wellbeing of all its workers, including disabled people, and has thoughtful, engaging and inclusive workplace practices.

We want to reward and showcase a truly inclusive organisation that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people to allow them to grow, develop and thrive in the organisation.

If, despite the challenges of the past year, your organisation has effected real change and influenced tangible positive change in the workplace, wherever that might be for your workers enter for the 2021 Disability Smart SME Award.

DS SME Award criteria – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to developers of technology that has really improved the life chances of disabled people. We want to reward and showcase truly inclusive design or a developer that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If you are a real technology change-maker, an influencer of tangible positive change, and a leading light in improving the lives of disabled people, submit your application for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Technology Award.

DS Technology Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to a Workplace Adjustments Team that has developed and implemented a workplace adjustments process that has proven to have improved the working lives of disabled people.

We want to reward and showcase truly inclusive procedures and processes that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people.

If you work in a Workplace Adjustments Team that is a real change-maker, an influencer of tangible positive change, and a leading light in improving the lives of disabled people, submit your application for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Disability Smart Workplace Adjustments Team Award.

DS Workplace Adjustments Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This Award will be given to an organisation that is a great place to work. We are looking for an organisation that demonstrates that it really values the physical and mental health and wellbeing of all its workers, including disabled people, and has thoughtful, engaging and inclusive workplace practices.

We want to reward and showcase a truly inclusive organisation that has gone the extra mile to break down barriers experienced by disabled people to allow them to grow, develop and thrive in the organisation.

If, despite the challenges of the past year, your organisation has effected real change and influenced tangible positive change in the workplace, wherever that might be for your workers enter for the 2021 Business Disability Forum Workplace Experience Award.

DS Workplace Experience Award Criteria – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This award will go to a Disability Confident employer that can demonstrate that they have actively supported their disabled employees throughout the pandemic period. This could include making appropriate workplace adjustments that have enabled staff to work remotely or in a blended way, supporting them to deliver their work effectively.

We want to reward and showcase an inspirational employer that can demonstrate that they have gone the extra mile to support disabled people.

The-Disability-Confident-Covid-19-Innovation-Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This award will go to an organisation that can demonstrate that they have actively progressed through the different levels of the Disability Confident scheme.

They will also demonstrate that there has been a positive impact on the organisation in terms of disability employment and other opportunities such as apprenticeships, internships, work experience.

The Disability Confident Impact Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This award will go to a Disability Confident employer that can demonstrate that they have placed Mental Health and Wellbeing at the heart of their organisation.

The-Disability-Confident-Mental-Health-and-Wellbeing-in-the-Workplace-Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

This award will go to an organisation that has made the greatest progress in hiring disabled people into actual jobs. The organisation will be able to demonstrate tangible outcomes in terms of the numbers of disabled people in jobs and /or work-related initiatives.

The Disability Confident Progress in Recruitment Award – Criteria (downloads Word document)

Please fill in the entry form after reading the criteria for your category:

BDF-Disability Smart Awards – Entry Form (downloads Word document)

Online submission form (opens new tab)

Who can enter these awards?

Any organisation– as long as the activity, company or individual involved in the submission relates to disability smart practices in business. We also accept submissions from international companies.  

Why should I enter these awards?

Winning a Disability SmartAward is a way of showing the importance in the role of disability inclusion in your organisation.   

What do submissions entail?

Each award you enter has a separate BDF-Disability Smart Awards Entry Form to complete. The Entry Form has a number of sections:

Section A: About the nominee/organisation 

Section B: Entry details (a 500 word summary of your award entry, providing background detail and contextual information)

Section C: Criteria statements (statements of no more than 500 words per criterion as listed in the separate awards criteria document)

Section D: Supporting evidence (you can attach a maximum of two pieces of evidence to support your entry)

Can I add attachments?

Yes, you can add two attachments (5MB each).  

For attachments please use the following formats:  

  • Word 
  • Excel 
  • Powerpoint 

With the following extensions: .pdf, .xls, .ppt, .pot, .doc, .docx

How do I enter these awards? 

Navigate to our awards website and click on the relevant category

Entries open on 1 May 2021 and you can compile your entry or entries through our dedicated online awards section 

You must complete your entry or entries by 31 August.   

How hard is it to prepare an entry? 

Entering our awards is a simple and straightforward process. You can save any submissions in progress and return to it anytime.

Can I edit my entry? 

Once you submit your evidence we are unable to accept amendments.

What should my entries include? 

All entries must follow the necessary category-specific entry criteria online, and you should include any supporting documents, alongside this while submitting your entry. Please ensure all your entries are clearly attributed to the correct category, complete with contact details and all the information you wish to be displayed. 

What are your policies on confidentiality? 

We’ll look to share your award-winning case studies in full, both online and in print.  

That said, we know that in order to win an award you may have to share information you would not want to disclose publicly.  

Don’t forget to mark this information as confidential. Please take the following steps to ensure your submission is marked correctly as confidential: 

Details tab: Add ‘Confidential’ to the start of your submission title 

Please note there will be publicity for finalists and winners.

How much does it cost to enter? 

It is free to enter the Awards.

When will the shortlist by announced? 

The shortlist will be announced in November

When and where are the Disability Smart Awards taking place this year?  

We will confirm whether the Awards will take place online or as an in-person event in due course. 

We are Business Disability Forum.

We believe the 26 million people in the UK and over 1 billion people worldwide with disabilities and long-term conditions enhance the social and economic health of our societies. We exist to remove barriers in business structures and Government that prevent disabled people from thriving and contributing in this way.

Our Awards recognise those that are leading the way in inclusive and accessible practices as organisations they put in place. We really want to see are your exceptional stories that truly demonstrate leadership in action.

The judges are a highly experienced group of practitioners at Business Disability Forum. We are really looking forward to reading your stories!

1. Sarah Bartlett

2. Ebunola Adenipekun

3. Anthony Allison-Burke

4. Lucy Ruck

5. Fleur Donnelly-Jackson

6. Diane Lightfoot

7. Adrian Ward

8. Davina Critchley

9. Hazel Leighfield

10. Ruth Fisher

11. Daniel Cadey

12. Parma Sira

13. George Wright

14. Vicky Dermitzi

15. Angela Matthews

16. Julie Smith, DWP

17. Julie Williams, DWP

18. Amanda Wadsworth MBE DL, DWP

Supported by Barclays and hosted by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office  

Our 2019 Disability-Smart Awards recognised and celebrated businesses that have demonstrated outstanding and innovative practice. Businesses large and small and across all sectors have helped transform the lives of disabled people in the workplace and in society. 

The Disabled People’s Choice Award was selected by disabled people from the public and they were able to nominate organisations they felt showed inclusivity and accessibility.

The winners, the criteria, and the rationale for each category of our Disability-Smart Awards 2019 can be found below.

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