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June 29, 2022

Business Disability Forum Annual Conference: Are you being served? Welcoming Disabled Consumers

Business Disability Forum. Annual conference. Are you being served? Welcoming disabled consumers. 29 June 2022 (hybrid). #BDFAreYouBeingServed. Icons around accessibility and purchasing.

Join us on Wednesday 29 June 2022 for Business Disability Forum’s Annual Conference, which this year is all about serving disabled consumers.

With the cost of living increase on everyone’s lips, all consumers need to be reassured that what they buy will be value for money. For some disabled consumers, this reassurance can be even more important. If booking a day out, tickets for a game or show or a night away, will they and their families be able to enjoy the whole experience, or will they be excluded from parts of it because of their disability? Buying a new item of clothing, household appliance or even groceries can present stresses for some disabled consumers.

Topics include:

  • What do disabled consumers buy and why? We’ll be sharing new research commissioned by Business Disability Forum from Open Inclusion supported by Microsoft, which reveals disabled consumers frequently can’t find the pre-purchase information they need.
  • How can you ensure disabled consumers receive welcoming customer service and an inclusive, accessible buying journey?
  • Extra costs for disabled people – the importance of value for money products and services
  • How can technology be used to improve customer experience?
  • Creating accessible experiences.
  • Access audits in action.
  • Hiring and training inclusive customer service staff.
  • The role of appearance in disability inclusion.

 Speakers include:

  • Janet Tidmarsh, head of diversity and inclusion at Whitbread shares what they have learned about making a stay at Premier Inns truly inclusive.
  • Sandra Hazel from Merlin Entertainments explores the challenges of making an often long-anticipated and saved-up-for day out with family or friends an inclusive experience to remember.
  • Gavin Neate, CEO of Neatebox and founder of App WelcoMe and disabled Dundee United football fan Jon Attenborough will discuss how technology can be used to ensure better customer service for disabled consumers when they arrive at their destination.


  • Diane Lightfoot, CEO, BDF
  • Bela Gor, Head of content and legal, BDF
  • Christine Hemphill, Founder and managing director, Open Inclusion
  • Ian Streets, Access consultant, Access Auditor
  • Victoria Jenkins, CEO/Founder, Unhidden clothing
  • Rick Williams, Head of consultancy, BDF/Freeney Williams
  • Joanne Austin, Financial crime risk assurance manager, HSBC
  • Tim Fallowfield, Company secretary and corporate services director, Sainsbury’s
  • Mark Hodgkinson, CEO, Scope
  • Lucy Ruck, Taskforce manager, BDF

Who should attend?

Anyone responsible for disability inclusion such as D&I and HR professionals, in particular anyone responsible for attracting and hiring customer-facing staff, whether online, on the phone or in-person. This conference is also for customer experience managers, customer service personnel and facilities and property managers.

A hybrid event

This year’s Annual Conference will be hybrid and we are delighted to be inviting a limited number of delegates a place to attend in person at The Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls in London. We will be live streaming the whole event for our online audience.

View the agenda of this year’s Annual Conference (PDF format)

Book your place at the online event using the registration form (please fill in all required fields or you will not be able to proceed).
If you have any problems submitting your form, please email


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