Promoting Purple

Blog by Mike Adams

The month of October has seen a significant level of activity to promote the key messages of Purple. These are:

  • Disability is a commercial issue, as well as a social one, and we all need to change the way we do business
  • The aspirations of disabled people, and the support to deliver these aspirations, remain paramount if real independence, choice and control is to be a reality. And in doing so, unlocking the value of disabled people
  • It is the bringing together of businesses and disabled people which will ultimately create the sustainable solutions to unleash the ‘purple pound’ and reduce current levels of inequality

The Institute of Directors has shown real leadership (and boldness) in putting Purple on the cover of their October magazine (Director) with a feature article. In ways I could never have articulated they have set out the business challenge and why business leaders need to seize this opportunity for and on behalf of their organisation.

The response has been extremely positive and I am talking to business leaders about a different conversation.

“I have not thought about disability as a commercial issue before?”

“What you have said is what I have felt for such a long time but haven’t hitherto done much?”

“Can we just get on with it and make it happen?”

This Friday (4th November) we will be publishing our product/services brochure and will be in a position to get on with it, with a range of businesses from different sectors, all starting their journey in a different place but with a clear sense of where they want to go.

At the World Disability Congress in Edinburgh last week we were able to talk Purple to disabled people and their organisations from over 60 countries. The message around raising aspirations and enabling all disabled people to make a contribution to their communities needs some honing! A number of disabled people believe they spend all their time fighting the system and therefore don’t have time to think about aspirations, let alone do anything positive about them. This cannot be right, and is why we need to tackle inequality in the way Purple has set out: disabled people having an individual and collective role to play alongside other stakeholders in changing the conversation.

At the conference last week Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, talked about a need to listen to disabled people to inform future policy. In fairness, she also argued for more disabled people to enter politics. But I think she was still missing the point. The issue is disabled people and others need to come together to create solutions, not disabled people (or for that matter businesses) acting as a focus group for others to then interpret and implement.

Early in the new year Purple will be announcing our first series of events that will bring disabled people and businesses together. Given the Purple activity over the past few months there will be plenty to talk about and plenty of new voices.

Hot off the press: today Purple has been featured in the Equality and Diversity supplement in The Times, which you can read below.

To view the report, please CLICK HERE.

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