We hear this all too often. Businesses who say this seem to think it means they don’t have any access problems. Actually, it means they are failing to attract and serve a large number of customers, they are missing the opportunity.
There is a strong business case for ensuring that disabled and older people can access your goods, facilities and services:
• The over 50s now form a significant proportion of many companies’ customer base and are an important economic power • Baby Boomers collectively own close to £500bn of the UK's assets • Over 50s account for 40% of consumer spending, 60% of total savings and 80% of UK wealth • The value of the disabled £ is estimated at £80billion
A survey by Leonard Cheshire Disability and Ipsos MORI examined the business case for improving access, looking at the potential benefits for businesses in becoming more accessible, and the potential risks of failing to do so:
• 79% of disabled people would tell their friends and family if they felt a shop had discriminated against them because of their disability, and 62% would advise their friends and family not to use that shop (Ipsos MORI for Leonard Cheshire Disability 2010) • 82% of disabled customers in the UK took their business to a more accessible competitor (Employers Forum on Disability Survey) • 40% of disabled people could identify a difficult experience whilst accessing goods and services in the past 12 months. • 28% of people aged 65+ have difficulties with their eyesight (General Household Survey ONS, 2001) • 55% of people aged 60+ are deaf or hard of hearing, equating to 7.6 million people (RNID) • The number of people with impairments which affect their use of the telephone is increasing as the population ages and many have difficulties with hearing, vision, memory and dexterity, which affect their use of the telephone (Ofcom)
Commercially astute businesses quietly leverage knowledge and understanding of disabled and older people’s needs to give them an advantage over competition.
To find out more about the business case for inclusive design and begin to make it work for your organisation contact us.