Purple Tuesday has been and gone! Did you go shopping? Or did you stay at home because of the rumours that the DWP will be given CCTV footage so they can use it against claimants? Yes, that’s right CCTV has in the past been given to the DWP for this purpose and guess who from? Sainsbury’s!!
According to Disability News, they say:
“Purple, the social enterprise formerly known as Essex Coalition of Disabled People, has secured the support of DWP for next week’s Purple Tuesday event but has denied that there is any “hidden agenda”.
Tuesday’s (13 November) event has also secured at least 14 high-profile partners, including retailers M&S, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos, and shopping centre owners such as intu and Landsec.
One of the partners, intu – which owns and runs shopping centres across the country – today (Thursday) refused to promise not to pass CCTV footage from the event to DWP, while Sainsbury’s has refused to answer questions.
But Disability Labour, which represents disabled people who are members of the Labour party – but is independent of the party itself – has called for a boycott of the event.
It has raised fears that those companies taking part could pass CCTV pictures from the day to DWP to use against disabled people who have made benefit claims.
It highlighted how Sainsbury’s has previously admitted that it occasionally passes CCTV pictures to DWP”.
Scary stuff that this can happen and the fact companies are willing to abuse their use of CCTV so willingly and feel they don’t have to “comment” on that fact, or be accountable!!! I’m not going to debate about whether or not CCTV is good or bad but I never liked the fact that it was forced onto us, the public without consent or consultation.
So the purpose of Purple Tuesday was what exactly? If you visit the Purple Tuesday website, this is what they say: “The aim of Purple Tuesday is to make customer-facing businesses more aware of these opportunities and challenges and inspire them to make changes to improve the disabled customer experience over the long term”. Their slogan: The UK’s first accessible shopping day! Is in itself very confusing. It suggests it is the very first day all retailers are going to be accessible!! Eerr….No! So straight away it is misleading. PT was meant to highlight the difficulties disabled people have while out shopping and retailers were supposed to make a pledge to change at least one thing to help with accessibility. Will it work? I doubt that very much. It was one day, on the quietest day of the shopping week. Once the event is over, we will be forgotten again! Over the next few days, I intend to go to my local high street & shopping centre and ask how they thought the event went. I bet quite a lot of retailers will ask, what event was that?
A few retailers have been mentioned that are supporting PT but no real information regarding as to what these retailers plan to change or if they will be followed up to see if any changes have been made? Has an audit been done to see what changes needed to be made to compare to any changes that may or may not have been done??
I hate to be so downhearted about this event because if it works, it will be a milestone movement for disabled people. I, unfortunately, don’t believe this event will make the slightest change whatsoever. I’ve had to contact the same company twice regarding access issues, so what does that tell you about how serious retailers are about accessibility?