Business Disability Forum | Disability Standard


Finally, a business award that recognises the power of the ‘purple pound’
Four Business Disability Forum Disability-smart awards on a table.

The ‘purple pound’ is a term used to describe the spending power of disabled people and their families. Its influence is growing to proportions that businesses can no longer ignore, with many tapping into this lucrative market and reaping the benefits. In collaboration with the Extra Costs Commission and with support from disability charity Scope, BDF has launched the first ever award that recognises their efforts: the Extra Costs Award.

The latest addition to BDF's Disability-smart Awards (, the Extra Costs Award will be given to those businesses that have accounted for and made a concerted effort to fulfil the following criteria:

* Taken steps to develop a product or service that is geared towards reducing extra costs for disabled people and their families.
* Have introduced this product or service in the last year.

Some companies are already standing out for taking the initiative. Sainsbury's recently rolled out trolleys designed specifically for children with disabilities, that are now used in stores across the country. RBS and Natwest have invested in hi-tech, fully accessible mobile branch vans that can be used by customers with mobility restrictions who are unable to make it into a bank branch. And EE are just one of many organisations that now offer a video relay service for customers who use British Sign Language as their first language.

The Extra Costs Commission ( is an independent inquiry that was set up in response to research that showed life costs more if you are disabled. It looked closely at how businesses can meet the needs of disabled people and found that there is still a long way to go:

* The 'purple pound' is worth £212 billion.
* Three quarters of disabled people and their families have left a shop or business because of poor customer service or a lack of disability awareness.
* Two-thirds of disabled people think products are not developed with them in mind.

The winner of the new Extra Costs Award will be announced at the 2016 Disability-smart Awards presentation in October 2016. Entries to the 2016 Disability-smart Awards are free to enter for BDF Members & Partners, and close on Friday 1 July 2016.

For enquiries about the Disability-smart Awards scheme, please email ( or call 020-7403-3020.

Find out more or download an entry form (


Register online now for our upcoming events:

** Workshop - Organising accessible meetings & events (
Thursday 9 June, 10:00am - 1:00pm, London.

** Technical SwapShop (
Tuesday 21 June 2016, 10:00am - 2:30pm, London.

** Seminar - Inclusive premises (
Wednesday 22 June 2016, 10:00am - 1:00pm, London.

** Workshop - Inclusive service design: meeting the needs of disabled customers (
Thursday 23 June 2016, 09:00am - 12:00pm, London.


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Business Disability Forum is committed to ensuring that all its products and services are as accessible as possible to everyone, including disabled people. If you wish to discuss anything with regard to accessibility at this event please contact us.

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