For a very long time, Society has been split on the subject of what the disability community can and can’t do. And much like the famous musical, Annie Get Your Gun, it saw people arguing back and forth: “No, you can’t!” – “Yes, I can!”; in the same way protagonists Frank and Annie do in their classic “Anything You Can Do” duet.

Today, however, the tide is turning and perceptions of disabled people are changing. More attention is being focused on disability and its £249 billion industry. Here is a snapshot of some of the most significant shifts that have taken place.


The world may not be fully accessible yet, but there have been incredible improvements made to engage the disabled community to live a more active lifestyle. The increasing popularity of the Paralympics saw thousands of disabled people pick up various inclusive sports such as wheelchair basketball and tennis, boccia, athletics and many more. Travel has also made huge strides towards accessibility, with agencies offering specially designed trips that cater for disabled globetrotter’s requirements. Fashion is even starting to make a push towards clothing that tailors for the specific needs of the disabled community, with brands such as Primark, River Island and ASOS paving the way towards inclusive fashion.

Built Environment

It is now a legal requirement for new buildings to be inclusive. Whether it’s a house, a museum or a hotel, the new regulations state that any built environment should be accessible to all. And not only that, but interior designers are looking to change the stereotypes of accessible buildings; pulling away from the clinical and pushing towards an elegant combination of practicality with aesthetics. Companies like Airbnb have even created specific filters for disabled people to find the best places to stay.


Did we mention that the disability industry is worth £249 billion already? This has created unprecedented opportunities for disabled people to become entrepreneurs and influencers. Whether it is providing a service to other disabled people, creating a unique product that fulfils a specific need, or building a platform for the disabled community to connect; there are more opportunities than ever to give the disability industry a push into the spotlight. And with the latest advancements in assistive technology, businesses are constantly hiring more disabled employees. The perception of a disabled person as a liability in the workplace is disappearing for good, and not before time!


Find out more about all of these changes on the 26th & 27th of March 2019, as Naidex will bring the future of independent living to Birmingham’s NEC. With 350 exhibitors, 250 speakers, interactive features, panel debates and more; Naidex will become the hub of the disability world and empower disabled people across Europe.

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