Disabled customers and employees are to be given a voice to promote change and trigger improvements in various industries, following the launch of a Government initiative today.

In a bid to make firms and services nationwide more accountable to disabled people - ranging from greater access on the high street and across industry workplaces to improved public services - eleven so-called business 'sector champions' have been appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The sector champions are:

  • Retail - Helen Drury, corporate responsibility manager at shopping centre owner Intu
  • Music - Suzanne Bull, chief executive of Attitude is Everything
  • Leisure - Huw Edwards, public affairs director at UKActive
  • Tourism - Chris Veitch, co-founder of Access New Business
  • Hotels - Robbin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels
  • Media - Dan Brooke, head of marketing, press and publicity at Channel 4
  • Advertising - Sam Phillips, chief marketing officer at Omnicom Media Group
  • Airports - Michael Connolly, regional training and standards manager at OCS Ltd
  • Buses - Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport Services
  • Banking - Trudie Hills, disability manager at Lloyds Bank
  • Gaming - Jo Twist, chief executive of UKIE

Their aim is to "amplify the voices of disabled customers and employees within their own industries", while at the same time showing other businesses the merits of making disabled customers a priority.

Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, said: "As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer's needs.

"These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change."

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