Nuneaton group encourages businesses to give accessibility a high five

Nuneaton’s local Speaking Up Group paid a visit to the town centre’s shops, cafes and pubs last week to share with staff how to become more inclusive.

The group, part of Warwickshire Empowerment Service (WES) and made up of disabled members with a passion for equality and accessibility, designed posters for each type of business with five tailored tips to better access and financial success.

Four people from Nuneaton Speaking Up Group, plus Sophie from Grapevine, smile and wave while they sit on a bench in Nuneaton town centre
Members of Nuneaton Speaking Up Group in the town centre (Sophie from Grapevine, top right)

The ‘Give Accessibility a High Five’ posters were bolstered by statistics about the ‘Purple Pound’ – the spending power of disabled people and the potential financial losses faced by businesses that don’t make simple changes to ensure they are open and welcoming to all.

This equates to up to £2 billion lost every month by businesses that don’t cater for disabled customers (source: We Are Purple).

Make cafes accessible – example tips

  • More space between tables
  • More choice about where to sit
  • More quiet times
  • Easy-read menus
  • A clear explanation of the payment process.

There were also specific posters for shops, pubs and menus.

In the photo (above, left to right) Andrew, Anne, John, Sophie and James wave after a successful round of visits and delivering one of their key messages: “If you don’t know, just ask.”

They also handed out their own ‘Inclusive Badges’ for premises that met their criteria to display.

The Inclusive Badge is yellow with an Earth in the centre surrounded by all kinds of people. The text around the edge includes words like Inclusive, Disability-friendly and Open To Everyone.
The ‘Inclusive Badge’ designed by the group for premises to display in their windows

Staff in at least two premises remarked they didn’t know that inaccessibility could be costing their business so much. Another admitted they hadn’t previously thought about some of the points made but would like more information in order to follow up.

WES, funded by Warwickshire County Council, ends on 31 March but please contact Sophie for copies of the advice posters and sticker at