13 November 2018 was Purple Tuesday, the UK’s first accessible shopping day.
Nearly one in every five people in the UK is a disabled person protected under the Equality Act 2010, and over half of households have a connection to a disabled person. Disabled people’s collective spending power – the Purple Pound – is worth £249 billion to the UK economy. However, this potential is not being fully realised, and there are still real (and perceived) barriers that make it harder for disabled people to find work, spend money online and in store, and enjoy a drink or meal out.
The aim of Purple Tuesday is to make customer-facing businesses more aware of these opportunities and challenges and inspire them to make changes to improve the disabled customer experience over the long term.
Inclusive Eastbourne joined together with Eastbourne Access group at their stand in the Arnedale Centre to celebrate Purple Tuesday. We asked disabled visitors to the shopping centre to tell us about their good or bad experiences of visiting local shops and if there was anything they thought could be done to improve access for disabled people.
Eastbourne Shopmobility, East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre and Eastbourne Blind Society also joined in the celebration and talked to shoppers with different impairments about their experiences, as well as inviting staff from local shops to join In the conversation about making shopping a more accessible experience.