What’s it all about?
Purple Tuesday 2021 is a change programme for organisations of all sizes from all sectors to get involved in, with the common goal of improving the customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year.
In the UK alone, the #PurplePound – the spending power of disabled people and their families – is worth a staggering £274 billion and is estimated to be rising by 14% per year, yet less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market. This is not only a huge frustration for disabled people, but is also a huge missed opportunity for organisations who could be benefiting both socially and commercially by accessing the disability market.
#PurpleTuesday is about creating a step change improvement in the awareness of the value and needs of disabled customers. It is about making the customer experience accessible. Participating organisations will make public commitments (a minimum of one new activity or initiative) to ensure sustainable changes are made. For organisations, this will result in the opening up of products and services to the disability market.
Call to Action
Over 2,000 organisations have already committed to improving the customer experience for disabled people. Register your organisation to join us on this journey and celebrate your commitment to change on 2 November 2021.
Purple Tuesday is free for all organisations to get involved with. All we ask is that each participating organisation makes at least one new commitment to improve the customer experience for disabled people. The commitments you choose to make can be completely bespoke to your organisation, but here are some ideas to get you started:
Complete an Online Accessibility Audit
To identify where you can make improvements on your website to improve online accessibility
Complete a Site Access Audit
To identify where you can make improvements in your physical space to improve accessibility
Provide customer service training
For your staff through face-to-face, online or blended forms of delivery to help your staff confidently communicate with disabled people, without fear of unintentionally offending them
Training and awareness
To help your staff to understand various types of disabilities, including those which are hidden or invisible
British Sign Language
Training your staff to learn some key words and phrases in British Sign Language to enable basic conversation with customers who use this as their main form of communication
Formalising quiet hours
To support customers who may have sensory needs such as Autism, ensuring all usual loud noises are either reduced or removed during this period, such as till beeping and music
“Despite the irony that most of the 3 million people in the UK that Colour Blind Awareness represents have never experienced the colour purple, we are fully behind Purple Tuesday. It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight to other organisations how they can generate additional turnover just by taking some simple steps. Here’s an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives by ensuring an inclusive customer experience for everyone, including those with hidden disabilities such as with colour blindness. In these competitive and uncertain times can you afford not to? Purple Tuesday isn’t about jumping onto bandwagons, so make the most of it and seize the opportunities to implement change and make a real difference to your colour blind customers.”
- Kathryn Albany-Ward, CEO at Colour Blind Awareness.
“This will be our first year participating in the Purple Tuesday initiative. It is refreshing to see other companies sharing the same core values as Phoenix Events (East) Ltd and taking action to be inclusive for all customers. Purple Tuesday is another way to demonstrate to our staff and customers that we are committed to becoming an accessible organisation, which is something we have set out to be since the very beginning.
Purple Tuesday is free for all organisations to participate in, in exchange you need to make one new commitment to your disabled customers, so I ask my fellow business owners to sign up and show your commitment, not just on the 12th November, but for life.”
- Adam Harding , Managing Director, Phoenix Events (East) Ltd
“We absolutely recognise the importance of offering guests an inclusive experience – it’s why we’re proud to be a part of Purple Tuesday and why we’re placing a particular focus on making changes to ensure our retail environments are welcoming for a broad, diverse range of shoppers.”
- Clive Johnson, Head of Health, Safety and Security at Landsec
“A day out for disabled customers should be an enjoyable experience to share with family and friends, but for so many it can be such a hassle that they end up staying at home instead.
“That is a terrible shame, not only for the UK’s 13 million disabled people but for Britain’s businesses who are missing out on the huge spending power of these valuable customers. It’s also not acceptable in this day and age.
“I want businesses across the country to get involved with this year’s Purple Tuesday and open their doors to disabled customers – not just on this day but all year round.”
- Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People
“The Valuable 500 is pleased to support Purple Tuesday and are excited to see more brands than ever take part in this important event. We urge more business leaders to get involved in Purple Tuesday and support their colleagues as they celebrate disabled consumers and employees.”
- Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500
“Creating true accessibility is essential for all successful retailers. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also makes commercial sense. Some really good progress is being made in this area, but there’s still much more work to do. Purple Tuesday helps highlight what changes businesses should be considering to make sure everyone is welcome through their doors, and we’re proud to be supporting the initiative again this year.”
- Ian Gilmartin, Head of Retail at Barclays Corporate Banking
“We have received a great positive reaction from both colleagues and customers following Purple Tuesday 2018. As part of the Purple Tuesday initiative, amongst many other commitments, we provided training to over 1,000 members of staff in autism and dementia awareness. As a result of this, it has taught our staff how to communicate effectively, patiently and compassionately to all customers, which has enabled staff to identify the specific needs for our customers and has ultimately improved the level of customer service, not just for our disabled customers, but everyone inclusively.”
- Karen Daisley, Senior Manager of People at Asda
“Last year’s inaugural Purple Tuesday was incredible. This year it would be amazing to see the retail sector go even further in helping make shopping and our towns and cities as inclusive as possible. It isn’t just the commercial opportunity that is important but the infinitely immeasurable positive impact that opening up places and businesses to individuals and their families, with disabilities, all over the country that the industry can have. Purple Tuesday is not about one day but a spotlight, for all the work and initiatives that are taking place at an increasing rate, all over the country to make retail places inclusive, all year round.”
- Samantha Sen, Retail Sector champion