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Accessible Britain Challenge: creating inclusive communities for disabled people

Information on what organisations and individuals can do to help disabled people become full and active participants in their community.

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The Accessible Britain Challenge ended in March 2015. The Disability Confident scheme provides support and guidance on recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Disabled people face barriers in their everyday lives that prevent them from being full and active members of their community.

Through the Accessible Britain Challenge we want to encourage communities to become more inclusive and accessible.

Watch Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, launch the Accessible Britain Challenge along with Paralympic gold medallist Naomi Riches MBE.

Accessible Britain Challenge Awards

The Accessible Britain Challenge Awards recognise organisations that are making an outstanding contribution towards communities being accessible and inclusive. This may include councils, other service providers and businesses.

On 12 March 2015, Minister of State for Disabled People, Mark Harper, made presentations to the winning organisations at an event at the House of Commons. There were winners in 4 categories:

  • improved mobility
  • innovative use of buildings, spaces and places
  • safer neighborhoods
  • inclusive social activities

Read the press release about the winners of the Accessible Britain Challenge Awards

The awards event was held in association with the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM).

The judging panel consisted of 3 people from the disability rights field – Dave Thompson MBE, Tracey Proudlock and Bryan Tyler – and an official from DWP’s Office for Disability Issues, Brian Keating.

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.

The Act defines a disabled person as someone with a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.

Read our guides explaining what the Equality Act 2010 means for disabled people. These include guidance for:

  • individuals on:
    • your rights if you are a disabled person
    • your rights if you care for a disabled person
  • business on:
    • how to avoid discriminating against disabled people when you provide goods and services to the public
    • the ban on questions on health and disability during recruitment
    • using positive action in recruitment and promotion to improve diversity in the workforce
    • making reasonable adjustments for disabled employees and job applicants
  • public sector organisations on meeting the public sector Equality Duty and other duties required by law

  • voluntary and community organisations

  • private clubs and associations

The government’s disability strategy

We are working towards a fairer and more equal society and reducing discrimination and disadvantage for all.

We are protecting disabled people by:

  • making sure UK government policies take account of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
  • encouraging the use of the social model of disability which says that disability is created by barriers in society

We set out our view of a society where disabled people can realise their aspirations and fulfil their potential in ‘Fulfilling Potential: making it happen’. This includes an action plan that explains the progress that has been made.

We recognise that disabled people’s user led organsations have an important role in changing perceptions, providing support and giving disabled people a stronger voice in their community. We are helping to strengthen existing organisations and develop new ones.

Following a consultation about involving disabled people in policy development, we set up the Fulfilling Potential Forum. This brings together around 40 disability organisations and government to discuss how disabled people can fulfil their potential.

Working with employers

Employers are crucial to helping disabled people find and stay in work.

Through the Disability Confident campaign, we are working with employers to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure disabled people have opportunities to fulfil their potential.

We have produced promotional material for employers to use to support the Disability Confident campaign.

‘Disability Confident 1 year on’ explains what we have been doing since start of the campaign in July 2013.

Press releases

Published 4 September 2014
Last updated 12 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the winners of the Accessible Britain Challenge Awards.
  2. Updated with information about the shortlisted nominees for the Accessible Britain Challenge Awards.
  3. Published case studies on improving library services for disabled people in Midlothian and improving information about fire safety for deaf people in Cheshire.
  4. Published new case study about dealing with disability hate crime in North Yorkshire.
  5. Published 2 case studies showing how some organisations are helping make their communities more inclusive and accessible.
  6. Added Accessible Britain Challenge Awards nomination form.
  7. Added link to video of the launch of the Accessible Britain Challenge.
  8. First published.