Press release: 2015 Disability-smart Award winners announced by Business Disability Forum

29 October 2015

London, UK – The winners of the 2015 Disability-smart Awards were announced yesterday at an event hosted by Nationwide in London. Organised by Business Disability Forum (BDF), the awards are given to companies that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to employing, working with and doing business with disabled people.

The awards are given to organisations that exhibit leading practice within the ten criteria of the world-leading Disability Standard. The Disability Standard represents best practice, but also provides information about specific areas to support business in their journey to becoming disability-smart and improve performance for disabled customers, employees and stakeholders.

The judging panel for the awards included leading experts in the area of disability, representatives from BDF's Member and Partner organisations and disabled opinion leaders.

The following organisations and individuals were announced as winners and highly commended in their respective categories:


-       Executive Disability Champion (sponsored by Equal Approach): David Oldfield, Lloyds Banking Group

-       Disability Champion: Neil Milliken, Atos

-       Know-how: HMRC

-       Adjustments: Lloyds Banking Group

-       Recruitment: Sainsbury’s

-       Retention: Barclays

-       Career Development: Civil Service

-       Products and Services, B2B: Nuance

-       Products and Services, B2C: BT

-       Product Development: Sainsbury’s

-       Communication: HSBC

-       Premises: Brent Council

-       ICT: Barclays


Highly Commended:

-       Executive Disability Champion (sponsored by Equal Approach): Janice Henson, de Poel

-       Disability Champion: Ole Black, Office for National Statistics

-       Know-how: Accenture

-       Adjustments: Office for National Statistics

-       Recruitment: EY

-       Retention: Lloyds Banking Group

-       Products and Services, B2B: Microlink

-       Products and Services, B2C: Barclays

-       Product Development: RBS

-       ICT: EE 

David Goodchild, Joint Interim CEO at BDF, said:

"This year's Disability-smart Awards were presented to organisations from a wide range of industries in the private and public sectors, from local councils to retailers and banks. Every business, regardless of size, industry or sector, should strive toward emulating the achievements of this year's award-winning organisations, by demonstrating a commitment toward getting things right for disabled customers, employees and stakeholders.

"Our Disability-smart Awards scheme is just one of the ways in which BDF are working to make the UK's industry disability-smart. We're also excited to be able to share the results of a nationwide poll we conducted which asked disabled people, their carers and close family to vote for their favourite service providers across ten key product and service areas."

The organisations that topped the poll in their respective categories were: 

-       Supermarkets: Tesco

-       Banking and financial services: Nationwide

-       Utilities providers: British Gas

-       Telecommunications, internet & pay TV providers: Sky

-       Public transport: National Rail

-       Travel and car hire: Easyjet

-       Restaurant/take away chains: Costa Coffee

-       Public services and government agencies: NHS

-       Lifestyle and leisure service providers: Theatres

-       Insurance providers: Aviva 

The 2016 Disability-smart Awards scheme will open for entries in early 2016. For more information on the Disability-smart Awards or the Disability Standard, visit


Notes to editors:

1. Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit business consortium that represents some 300 organisations that employ 20% of the UK workforce. We have more than twenty years’ experience of working with public and private sector employers and service providers. For more information about the Forum please visit:

2. For further information on the Disability-smart awards or Disability Standard, visit

3. For media enquiries, contact Emily Jackson via email to or call 020-7403-3020.