Introducing the Diversability Card, the official discount card for people with disabilities, providing exclusive and market-leading discounts with the UK’s favourite brands, service and entertainment providers.
The card has been founded by disability rights campaigner Shani Dhanda, who lives with a rare genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, more commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease, affecting only one in 15,000 people in the UK. With mainstream media throwing out images of unattainable perfection, lacking any social and cultural relevance to ethnic minority communities, raising awareness around disability and diversity is Shani’s passion.
‘I had the idea to create the card a few years ago after completing my dissertation research, which explored the barriers to accessible leisure for people with disabilities. My research showed that tangible barriers, such as poor accessibility was not the main reason why many individuals of this consumer group feel discouraged to go shopping or enjoy a meal out. Further recent research from Scope, revealed a shocking three quarters (75%) of people with disabilities and their families have left a shop or business because of poor disability awareness or understanding,’ said Shani.
Therefore, the Diversability Card has been created in response to the exclusion and alienation disabled customers face whilst accessing services and visiting places like shops or eateries as a necessity of daily life. Not only does the Diversability Card aim to support people with disabilities, it aims to educate businesses and service providers through training and highlighting specific changes and improvements that will make a difference to the millions of people who often miss out. Shani is now calling on consumers with disabilities and businesses to support the new scheme, providing a win win situation for both parties.
‘Any local, national and international business or service provider can sign up to become a Diversability Card brand partner at no cost, making an investment to over 12 million disabled people (that's almost 1 in 5 of the population) in the UK, and commitment to inclusion of this overlooked consumer group’ said Shani.
Many businesses are missing out on this potential customer base and their share of £420 million of revenue a week by having everyday products and services which aren’t available to people with disabilities. In turn, people with disabilities are regularly excluded from experiences and opportunities that many others take for granted. Failing to cater to people with disabilities is equivalent to excluding the populations of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff and Manchester combined.
Seven million people of working age have a disability, which all adds up to an awful lot of spending power. The latest figures from the UK's Department of Work and Pensions in December 2016 estimate that this spending power, the so-called "purple pound", is worth £249 billion to the economy.
It is no surprise to hear that people with disabilities and their families face many extra costs, from expensive equipment to higher energy bills - paying over the odds for essentials. These additional costs add up to an average of £550 a month and the annual cost of bringing up a child with a disability is three times greater than that of bringing up a non-disabled child.
Even with the extra support from Disability Living Allowance to help cover these costs, it doesn't reflect the true current cost of living, meaning welfare payments fall far short of meeting these extra costs. With the change from Disability Living Allowance to the new system of Personal Independence Payment, the way people are assessed means more than 600,000 people with disabilities could lose support.
The Diversability Card aims to alleviate this financial pressure and drive down the extra costs people with disabilities face every month with the support of the nation’s favourite retailers. Sign up today to apply for the Diversability Card at www.diversabilitycard.co.uk