Global organisations recognise the importance of being an accessible business
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Global organisations recognise the importance of being an accessible business

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We at Bascule were delighted to see that a recent study has been published that aims to explore the levels of commitment and activity from large scale global businesses in becoming inclusive organisations, whilst also stating the challenges associated with doing so.

The study, entitled, Towards a Disability-Smart World: Developing a Global Disability Inclusion Strategy is the first of its kind, and draws on evidence from Global organisations including Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Accenture and Microsoft.

Conducted by the Business Disability Forum in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, the study is built on the responses of more than 100 large global brands.

One of the most prominent findings of the study was that:

96% of respondents state that ‘disability inclusion is the right thing to do’ at a global level.

88% also agreed that disability inclusion means their organisation can access a wider pool of talent to recruit from.

84% stated Disability inclusion helps drive employee retention, but only 24% agreed this was an important motivator in all or most locations they operated in.

82% also stated that accessibility of products and services has an impact on customer, client, sales and opportunities, but only 27% agreed this was an important motivator in all or most locations they operated in.

Work to be done

Whilst the report offered an abundance of evidence that global organisations were beginning to recognise the benefits of inclusivity, it was also clear that their plans to implement a strategy, for some areas of their business, were still in the making.

Whilst more than 80% of respondents said that they had made one or more commitments to disability inclusion at a central level, only about 20% of respondents had a global strategy for disability inclusion in place. A majority estimated it would happen in the next few years.

The main challenges the report listed for the organisations included the following:

  • Cultural differences in terms of the ways in which disability is perceived
  • Levels of engagement with disability and accessibility in some countries.
  • The difference in legal requirements around the world
  • Gaining the commitment of local champions and managers

Diane Lightfoot the CEO of the Business Disability Forum said “It is crucial that we help remove barriers in both business structures and policy that prevent disabled people from thriving and making their contribution to the world. Looking beyond the challenges, it’s clear that organisations are making a difference. It is encouraging that a majority of participants in the online survey who had developed a global strategy, reflected positively that their organisation had progressed ‘a long way since starting the strategy’ and were ‘successfully achieving improvements for disabled colleagues and customers on a global scale’.

Chris Jay, Bascule Disability Training’s Managing Director said, “It is very encouraging to see that many global organisations are recognising the true importance of becoming a more inclusive organisation. We at Bascule hope that, as these global organisations develop their plans across their portfolio of global regions, other large national organisations, as well as medium and even smaller businesses, see the benefits to business that this report illustrates, and follow suit. Hopefully this will lead to more organisations understanding the true value of disability awareness training.”

To download the full report- CLICK HERE

To find out more about the bespoke disability awareness training that Bascule provides, CLICK HERE