The government has announced that it will be recruiting for a food and drink disability champion to help tackle the issues disabled people face as consumers.
The new role will look to raise awareness of the need to improve access, customer service and staff training to ensure that operators understand the needs of disabled consumers.
The announcement follows research by Guide Dogs that found that almost half of guide dog owners report being refused access each year, often to restaurants and pubs.
Similar roles have already been created to drive improvements of accessibility in other industries, such as banking, music and tourism.
“There are nearly 14m disabled people living in the UK, and just like everyone else they enjoy going out to eat and drink as a way of socialising with friends,” says Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people health and work. “But poor access and customer service often mean disabled people might just choose to stay at home instead.
“The food and drink industry must ensure it is capitalising on the spending power of disabled people and their households – the Purple Pound – worth £249 billion every year.”
Applications for the new disability champion open today, Monday 3 December, which is also International Day of Persons with Disabilities.