It's Purple Tuesday

Every year Purple Tuesday is a day that raises awareness of the challenges that disabled people can face and calls for action to improve customer service.

 

We’ve been proud supporters of Purple Tuesday for a number of years, and we’ve done some incredible work to make shopping with us easier for our disabled customers.

Whether it’s introducing quieter hours in all our stores or launching our “please speak up - I'm hard of hearing” badges (the result of a fantastic idea from David from our Huddersfield store), we’re continuously looking for ways to make sure we’re an inclusive place to work and shop.

 

We know there’s always more to do to make sure everyone feels supported, which is why we’ve sponsored Purple Tuesday 365, an annual learning subscription service that helps organisations access knowledge and materials to help provide better every-day experiences for disabled people and their families.

 

Thank you to everyone who’s helped us on this journey so far. Keep reading for some inspiration stories from our colleagues, and to hear more about the Purple organisation from its founder, Mike.

 

If you’ve any ideas or suggestions on how can make shopping trips easier and accessible for our customers, please share them with your line manager.

Sunflower Allies

We’ve signed up to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme, a globally recognised symbol for non-visible disabilities. We’re proud to have trained over 85,000 colleagues to recognise the sunflower logo and understand how best to support those around them.

 

We caught up with Jeet and Zoe, to find out how being part of this scheme is making a difference, not only to colleagues and customers in their stores, but to them personally. 

Jeet Panwar – GSM, Park Royal

We've been holding an inclusion hour in our store, between 10am and 11am every Tuesday for the past year. 

 

Not only has this been welcomed by our customers with both hidden and visible disabilities, it has encouraged our colleagues to be mindful of customers and their needs at all times.

 

It's great that we're now going one-step further and showing our support by signing up to the Sunflower Scheme.

 

It can be incredibly difficult for people to speak up if they need support, so by wearing the lanyards and colleagues being trained to support, we'll be able to spot and help customers when they need it. 

Zoe Dolphin, Westbrook

I joined Asda in 2014 and in 2018 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. While to many, I may look young and healthy, I'm actually in pain and exhausted from the chronic fatigue aspect of it so there are some limitations to roles I can do in store.

 

Having the sunflower lanyard has helped me to explain my condition to both colleagues and customers alike so they gain an understanding of how this condition affects me.

 

Hearing that we're now providing lanyards to customers in all stores, as well as training colleagues, makes me incredibly proud. We're doing the right thing and I know it'll make a difference to so many people. 

Hear more from Mike, founder of Purple

We spoke to Mike, founder of Purple, an organisation working towards bringing businesses together to change the conversation from one of disadvantage and inequality to one about potential and value. He tells us of the shopping experience that led him to creating Purple and the impact it's had over the last three years. 

Top tips to support inclusion

Not all disabilities are visible, and there are simple things we can all do to help give a better shopping experience.  

 

Say ‘hello’ to others you pass - don’t let lack of eye contact or body language hold you back.

 

Don’t wait to be asked if you think someone needs support, reach out to see if you can help.

 

Be patient and considerate of the extra time it may take others to do some things.

 

Check if others have understood what you’ve said and explain in a different way if they are unsure. 

 

Use inclusive language, when referring to somebody who doesn’t have a disability, refer to them as ‘non-disabled’ instead of ‘able-bodied’.

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