Disability and lifestyle blogger Holly Tuke, who is registered blind, blogs for us about the power of disabled people's spending.
The ‘purple pound’ is a term that describes the spending power of disabled people and their families. It can remind businesses that disabled people should not be forgotten when it comes to accessing their business and shows that spending is for everyone, regardless of disability, it also reinforces inclusion. There are 12 million disabled people in the UK with a spending power of 249 billion pound a year, surely that highlights the importance of the purple pound?
There’s no getting away from the fact that disabled people have extra costs, even for the basic things such as food, insurance and equipment. Life costs more for us so being able to access the things we need is vital.
We often have extra costs when it comes to heating and electricity, because we may have to charge equipment and technology more often than non-disabled people, because it is a lifeline for many of us, or we may feel the cold more than others.
But we also want to enjoy the same things as non-disabled people - like socialising with friends and family, purchasing the things we need and just living life. We still enjoy eating out or a good shopping trip so having access information at our fingertips takes the stress away. I may fancy visiting the Arndale Centre in Manchester to buy a new outfit from Next and the Access Guide means that I know what the shop is like in terms of accessibility before I go. It lets me know whether someone is available to assist me, whether there is step free access or lifts, and it even lists the accessibility of each department so I’m fully prepared.
If I’m eating out with friends, one of the things that I always find myself asking restaurant staff about is Braille menus, they often seem very confused but the AccessAble App means that I don’t have to ask if they have one, I know beforehand which makes things a lot easier.
AccessAble is your one-stop hub that gives you all the information you need to decide whether a place is accessible for you, it is your accessibility guide to the UK. They have surveyed thousands of venues across the country including shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, concert venues, hotels, hospitals, railway stations, colleges, universities and many more. It is a great way to check out disabled access and facilities. AccessAble takes the chance out of going out.
If a business has good customer service, effective communication and great disabled access then they are empowering disabled people, encouraging them to use their service and spend their money, resulting in more business and a good reputation.
Apps such as AccessAble can have an impact on both disabled people and businesses - they are showing that the company cares about disabled people, that they want to be accessible, and that they are making a commitment to inclusivity.
The purple pound isn’t just about money, it is about inclusivity, equality and diversity.
Download the AccessAble App from the App Store or the Google Play Store to see for yourself so you can get out and enjoy yourself and the power of going out and spending.