A leading disabled people’s organisation is hoping that its annual awards will spread the message that spending money on disability equality is a good use of public resources in tough economic times.
Liz Sayce, chief executive of RADAR, was speaking at the launch of the charity’s 44th annual People of the Year awards.
Sayce said that investing in people’s achievements – through schemes such as RADAR’s leadership programme – was the “best use of public money”, while boosting accessibility and inclusive technology ensures that “scarce resources go further”.
Caroline Waters, head of employment policy for BT, which hosted this week’s launch at the BT Tower in London, said the awards would help spread awareness of the best examples of companies and individuals that have promoted inclusion.
Riam Dean said winning last year’s young person of the year award had injected her with “a new lease of life” after her successful high profile discrimination case against her former employer Abercrombie & Fitch had left her “crushed” and her confidence “shattered”.
She told the launch event that she had been “spreading the word” on social networking websites to other young disabled people about the battle for equality in the workplace.
Dean said she had also joined forces with the charity Changing Faces to promote “face equality” in the workplace, and had spoken to many companies about the “need to ride the wave of change”.
The awards will be hosted by disabled children’s TV presenter and actress Cerrie Burnell on 29 November at a ceremony in London.
This year there are awards for person of the year, young person of the year, care and support, careers and leadership, factual media, fictional media , accessibility provider, technology provider, as well as two new awards, for arts personality and sports personality of the year.