UK Start-Up wins the European Investment Bank Institute’s Social Innovation Tournament
Blue Badge Style’s innovative Pictorial Access Descriptions (PADs) have won the coveted European Investment Bank Institute’s Social Innovation Tournament. In pictures on a venue’s website, a PAD shows the access and facilities for less-physically-able people in UK hotels, restaurants and bars.
The UK’s first and only app and website guide to help the less-physically-able lead an exciting social life has picked up the Special Category Prize: Urban Environment. The award, and 25,000 euros prize money, comes just as Blue Badge Style has completed its PAD for new City of London luxury hotel South Place Hotel and its Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Angler. The chic, boutique hotel is a first from restaurateurs D&D London, with Conran-designed interiors.
Founder of Blue Badge Style, Fiona Jarvis, herself in a wheelchair says, “We are delighted to have won this prestigious award. It underscores our thinking that hotels, bars and restaurants are at the forefront of changing attitudes to disability by making it easier for people to enjoy a stylish social life. Our aim is to create a world in which style and disability are not mutually exclusive and the hospitality sector is vital to this”.
Jessica Rodrigues, PR & Communications Manager at South Place Hotel said “We are committed to providing a high-quality service to all our guests. Blue Badge Style’s pictorial access description means our less-physically-able clients can see from our website exactly what we have to offer before they arrive”. Blue Badge Style’s PADs reveal South Place Hotel’s disability accessibility with a high-quality, pictorial journey through the venue, highlighting the facilities in the public areas and rooms for the physically less-abled.
Fiona continues, “Many often forget that people with mobility issues need to check out a hotel, restaurant or bar online before they go, but it’s often very difficult to work out what the obstacles will be for a particular disability. For example a walking stick user will want to know if there’s a handrail on the stairs, whilst a wheelchair user needs to know whether there is a ramp. It’s all about knowing what to expect in advance. Blue Badge Style’s PADs enable potential customers to make an informed choice and ensure they have a good time”.
Blue Badge Style is the UK’s only company that looks at disability from a style & design perspective, taking a stylish, pragmatic and cost-efficient approach to inclusive access, working with venue management teams, designers and architects to improve the awareness of disabled facilities. “Style is the overriding premise of Blue Badge Style, along with a positive outlook” says Fiona Jarvis, “disability should not stop you from enjoying life. It’s freedom shared!”.