A group of disabled people are helping city centre businesses to improve access for customers.
Members of CEDA (Community Equality Disability Action) are helping to make Exeter city centre shops more welcoming and accessible.
As Princesshay’s charity of the year, CEDA members are working with shops in the city centre to help improve physical access, make shops more welcoming for disabled people, and to remove barriers.
To celebrate Purple Tuesday today, the group are highlighting some of the welcoming features of local businesses.
Purple Tuesday is a global initiative which takes place on 1 November and aims to inspire businesses to promote awareness, develop understanding, and implement solutions for better accessibility for their customers. Each year, they encourage organisations to make one new commitment to improve their accessibility and practice.
Research shows that 75% of disabled people have turned away from a business because of poor accessibly or customer service, and shops in the UK could be losing £267 million per month because of access issues.
Craig Bowden, CEDA said:
“By working with city centre businesses to improve access and attitudes, we’re hoping to make Exeter more welcoming for disabled people. This will also help businesses to make more money through what’s become known as the Purple Pound – the spending power of disabled people.”
CEDA members have been recording a series of access videos to share their experiences and help staff to improve their understanding of the barriers they sometimes face. As part of the partnership, Princesshay have made a commitment to raising awareness of accessibility.
Michelle Menezes, Centre Manager at Princesshay said:
“Our aim is to ensure Princesshay is truly accessible and welcoming to all, and we are delighted to be working with expert partners, CEDA, who can advise us on the changes we need to make to improve our spaces.”
In the lead up to Purple Tuesday, CEDA members have been in Princesshay, highlighting places that are accessible and welcoming for disabled customers. They will also work with shopping centre staff to raise awareness of things that could be improved for better access.