Department for Work and Pensions
New champions to fight for rights of disabled consumers
Five new disability champions have been appointed by the government to ensure businesses are not forgetting about their disabled customers.
Using their industry influence, the champions will remove the obstacles faced by disabled consumers across the technology, countryside and heritage, products and spaces, brand and design and web accessibility sectors.
Minister for Disabled People Sarah Newton yesterday said:
For too long businesses have been missing out on the spending power of disabled customers and their families – worth a staggering £249 billion a year.
Sadly disabled people are often locked out from the everyday experiences many of us take for granted, whether that’s enjoying the great outdoors or benefitting from latest innovations in technology.
Our new champions will fight for the rights of disabled consumers so they can spend their money where and when they want, just like everyone else.
They join 14 existing champions who have already made significant progress in improving accessibility across a diverse range of industries, from insurance to music.
The new brand and design champion is Marianne Waite, founder and director of Think Designable and inclusive design consultant for Omnicom.
Brand and design champion Marianne Waite yesterday said:
Despite 90% of brands claiming to prioritise diversity and inclusion, only 4% consider the needs of disabled consumers.
I want to help hardwire inclusive design into mainstream brand practice and encourage creative teams to invest in insight from disabled consumers to drive much needed innovation.
It’s time for brands to wake up to the business, economic and social benefits of disability inclusion.
The 5 new disability champions are:
- brand and design: Marianne Waite, Founder of Think Designable
- countryside and heritage: Heather Smith, National Equality Specialist for the National Trust
- products and spaces: Ed Warner, Founder of Motionspot
- technology: Patrick Stephenson, Client Managing Director for Central and Local Government at Fujitsu
- web accessibility: Paul Smyth, Head of Digital Accessibility at Barclays
The 14 existing disability champions are:
- advertising: Sam Phillips, CMO at Omnicom Media Group
- airports: Michael Connolly, Regional Training and Standards Manager at OCS ltd
- arts and culture: Andrew Miller, National Council Member for the Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Wales
- banking: Trudie Hills, Disability Manager, Lloyds Bank
- buses: Jane Cole, Managing Director at Blackpool Transport Services
- gaming: Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of UKIE
- hotels: Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels
- insurance: Johnny Timpson, Financial Protection Technical & Industry Affairs Manager, Scottish Widows
- leisure: Huw Edwards, Public Affairs Director at UKActive
- media: Dan Brooke, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Channel 4
- music: Suzanne Bull MBE, CEO of Attitude is Everything
- rail: Stephen Brookes OBE, Member of Rail Delivery Group’s Governance Group and Non-Executive Director of Blackpool Transport
- retail: Samantha Sen, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Revo (Interim)
- tourism: Chris Veitch, Co-founder of Access New Business
Contact Press Office
Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5144
London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144
Out-of-hours (journalists only) 07623 928 975
England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099
Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122
Follow DWP on:
Latest News from
Department for Work and Pensions
UK sees record employment as unemployment falls below 4 per cent20/03/2019 12:10:00
The UK’s record jobs market continued into 2019.
New pension scheme "could deliver improved returns for millions"18/03/2019 16:10:00
Amber Rudd backed plans for the first Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) scheme in the UK.
Amber Rudd: “Behind our supportive staff is a compassionate system”15/03/2019 16:20:00
After setting out a fresh approach to Universal Credit, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd will hear how the changes will help local people in Hastings.
Radical shake-up of advice to pension schemes will benefit savers and boost £1.6 trillion pension assets13/03/2019 12:10:00
A radical reshaping of financial advice services used by pension schemes for long-term investment strategies will benefit millions of savers and boost the nation’s £1.6 trillion retirement assets, under plans unveiled by the government yesterday (12 March).
Universal Credit pilot to launch in North Yorkshire12/03/2019 15:10:00
The Work and Pensions Secretary yesterday announced that benefit claimants in Harrogate will be the first to move from old style benefits to Universal Credit.
Alok Sharma: 'There is still an urgency for us to act' on women’s economic independence11/03/2019 12:10:00
There are more women in work than ever before and the gender pay gap is at a record low, but that there is more to do to tackle employment inequality.
You're hired!08/03/2019 17:08:00
Amber Rudd will host the first ever youth employment roadshow in Hastings to help young jobseekers into the world of work.
Workless households fall by over a million since 201007/03/2019 13:10:00
Employment Minister Alok Sharma welcomes the fall of over a million workless households since 2010.