Disabled consumers urged to be ‘bold and loud’

moneyA new report launched today has revealed how businesses, government, regulators and charities are responding to and servicing disabled customers.

The Extra Costs Commission has found that organisations are often not aware of disabled consumers, or the additional costs which they face. The inquiry has called for disabled people to be ‘bold and loud’ in response.

The report has found that some well-known brands are already responding. Marks & Spencer, for instance, responded to customer demand for larger size bodysuits and sleepsuits for disabled children – giving customers more choice and much cheaper than some specialist retailers.

Taxi firm Uber has invieted in 100 wheelchair accessible vehicles, and ensure that disabled passengers pay the same rates as anyone else. Likewise, the UK government has called for better regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, and improved service for disabled customers.

Ticket Factory too is using Nimbus Disability’s Access Card to allow disabled people to communicate their access needs when booking tickets for events.

And more businesses should be following in their footstep. Disabled people and their families have a combined spending power of £200 billion a year, known as the purple pound. The Commission’s report found that businesses who aren’t engaging with disabled consumers are missing out on up to £420 million a week.

Extra Cost Commission chair and fund management industry veteran Robin Hindle Fisher said: “Life costs more if you are disabled. The Extra Costs Commission focussed on how improving markets and competition can reduce the extra costs disabled people face.

“We called on disabled people to be ‘bold and loud’ – to get their voices heard and let businesses know about the opportunities they are missing out on.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, said: “The Extra Costs Commission rightly highlights the good sense of businesses that are making the most of the ‘purple pound’ by offering innovative products and services that disabled people need. I hope it inspires other businesses to do likewise.”

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