Purple Tuesday: paint the town purple

Every year on 2 November, Purple Tuesday encourages businesses around the UK to become more accessible, but the impact can have a lasting effect for years to come.

Did you know less than 10 per cent of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market? This is not only having a detrimental effect on the disabled community, but for the organisations missing an opportunity to benefit both socially and on the bottom line. 


Just in the UK the purple pound – the spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth around £274 billion and is estimated to rise by 14 per cent each year. This increases to more than £2.25 trillion worldwide.

Without changes to improve the customer experience, disabled people continue to be undervalued. In an effort to combat this, Purple Tuesday takes place each year on 2 November: a change programme for organisations of all sizes and from all sectors. 


Each of the organisations taking part are on a journey by making a commitment, with hopes to inspire and inform others along the way. They are required to implement one new activity or initiative after signing up to take part. 

Sector partners for this year’s event include Visit Scotland and Visit England, Sainsbury’s, Boots and eBay, but there are participants around the UK from various sectors. Some of these have a global influence, like Microsoft, Virgin Media and Deloitte. 


The dedicated day is all about making the customer experience accessible, the main barrier to both consumers and organisations utilising the spending power of the disabled community. More than 2,000 organisations are taking part in 2021 and have to make a public commitment to ensure sustainable change are made. 

It is free for organisations to get involved with and there are already commitment ideas that have been proven to work in previous years. These include training staff to learn key words and phrases in British Sign Language, formalising quiet hours where noise is reduced or removed, or completing a site access audit to improve accessibility in a physical space.   

The events of the last 18 months have emphasised the importance of the online marketplace and its accessibility. Purple Tuesday’s focus is no longer just the high street, but virtual access and digital inclusion. Other commitment ideas include completing an online accessibility audit on your website. Organisations can also make a commitment that is new and bespoke to them.

With tried and tested methods to take part, and the opportunity to tap into a powerful market, the day will bring greater awareness to the need for accessibility both in stores and online, but there is still a ways to go before the purple pound is truly utilised and the disabled community is catered for. 

Purple 365

While the event only takes place on 2 November, it aims to insight change 365 days a year. For 2021, the organisation behind Purple Tuesday has introduced Purple 365, a subscription service supporting organisations and their staff to access knowledge, understanding and practical approaches. 

The subscription includes monthly webinars on disability-related topics that align with awareness events, and resources throughout the year to help organisations engage the disabled community.

Learn more and find out how to participate at www.purpletuesday.org.uk

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