If your organisation has worked to enhance the experience of disabled employees and customers you could be in line for an award from Business Disability Forum. Supported by Barclays, Business Disability Forum’s Disability Smart Awards seek to showcase and celebrate employers and service providers which have demonstrated a clear and ongoing commitment to deliver for all customers and employees.
This year there are 11 Awards categories. These include workplace experience, technology, diversity and inclusion practitioner, global leader and the popular Disabled People’s Choice Award. There are also four new award categories around design, influencing, customer service, and communications. Winners of last year’s awards included, Liverpool Football Club, Microsoft, Gatwick Airport and West Midlands Police.
“Through the Disability Smart Awards, we want to celebrate success, whilst challenging other organisations to become more accessible by raising the bar on inclusive business,” said Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum. “Please help lead the way on change by sharing with us what your organisation is doing to ensure the needs of all employees and customers are met.”
Microsoft won the technology category last year for using cutting edge technologies to ensure their widely used products were as accessible to as many customers as possible. Hector Minto, Microsoft’s Tech Evangelist for Europe, Middle East and Africa, spoke about the impact of the Disability Smart win at Business Disability Forum’s Annual Conference in April. “Winning the Disability-Smart award was very good for us, not just because of the Windows work but for what people don’t see, which is the number of employees with disabilities working as engineers on the product,” he said. “It is not somebody doing something for people with disabilities, it is blind engineers, it is deaf engineers, it is people working and bringing their life experience to our product to make it better.
“There is so much built into the product that empowers people routinely. But it really took the Disability Smart Award to get the message out clearly to the business world and the education world.”
Categories for the 2019 Disability Smart Awards are as follows:
- Disability Smart Senior Champion Award 2019
- Disability Smart Design Award (new category)
- Disability Smart Workplace Experience Award 2019 (sponsored by Microlink)
- Disability Smart Influencer Awards 2019 (new category)
- Disability Smart Technology for All Award 2019 (sponsored by Microlink)
- Disability Smart Customer Service Award 2019 (new category)
- Disability Smart Communications & Marketing Campaign Award 2019 (new category)
- Disability Smart Global Leader Award 2019
- Disability Smart Multinational Organisation Award 2019
- Disability Smart Diversity & Inclusion Practitioner Award 2019
- Disabled Peoples’ Choice Award 2019
To find out more about the awards categories and how to enter, go to https://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/our-services/disability-smart-awards/. All entries must be received by 20 September 2019. Winners will be announced at the Disability Smart Awards Ceremony on 23 October 2019.