wheelchair user imageThe Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is looking for Disability Sector Champions across seven different sectors, including retail, product design and technology, for 2019 to help improve the lives of disabled people.

Disability Sector Champions use their influential status as leaders in their sectors to drive improvements to the accessibility, and quality, of services and facilities in their sector.

There are currently 14 Disability Champions who have all made “great progress” in their sectors, but the Government stresses that more needs to be done to ensure disabled people are fully included across the whole of society.

To ensure this happens, ODI is calling for people to apply to become a Sector Champion, initially for one year, in each of the following sectors: countryside and heritage; fashion; food and drink; product design; retail; technology; and website accessibility.

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The Sector Champions help combat the issues disabled consumers face every day by highlighting specific changes and improvements their sectors can make that will make a difference to millions of disabled people.

In the product design sector, the Disability Champion is expected to work with manufacturers, designers and innovators of products used in the home to encourage consideration of the needs of disabled consumers and the full accessibility of these products.

For the retail sector, the Champion will ensure that there is greater access and support for disabled people, creating a more inclusive environment.

In the technology sector, the Champion will work with technology companies to raise awareness of the need for compatibility of their products with assistive technology, and to raise awareness of assistive technology already built into their products, so that disabled people can use their products in a variety of settings.

The Government is looking for candidates who are ambitious, passionate and dynamic, with strong networks and the ability to reach out to a wide range of organisations to inspire and drive change.

To become a disability sector champion, candidates need to complete the application form on the Government’s website and then send the form to: odi.contactus@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

The closing date for applications is the 20th of January 2019.

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