Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style, the first app and website guide to a stylish lifestyle for the less-physically-able, has featured in the press once again. This time Fiona has written an article for Caterer and Hotelkeeper on how disabled access can be viewed as a selling point for hotels.
In the article she speaks of the need to for hotels to highlight some form of access statement on their websites. She argues that this could do a great deal to help them to attract less-physically-able guests. More than that it would be a good source of business for the hotels as well. She asks: "Why not advertise a good selling point in recessionary times and get a return on the investment regarding disabled facilities?".
"The hospitality industry should realise this and add descriptions of their venues from the perspective of a less able customer, they might be surprised at how profitable this could be." There is a market worth £2bn, comprised of less able customers. If quality hotels were to tap into this selling point, by providing good disabled access and advertising it in more intelligent ways, for instance, by using the BBS Pictorial Access Description, the advantages could be huge for them.
Fiona Jarvis established the Blue Badge Style website in 2007 in an attempt to create a community of like-minded people for whom style and disability are not mutually exclusive. She first realised she might have multiple sclerosis after falling off her high heels in a bar once too often. She has become progressively disabled over a period of 20 years whilst she worked in the City selling multi million pound software systems for the like of SAP. However, Fiona has always refused to compromise on her own style, whether that’s eating in smart restaurants, wearing elegant clothes or going on glamorous holidays. Through all the challenges, Fiona has carried on and not compromised on style. She embodies the BBS Spirit! Just as Coco Chanel said: “Fashion fades; only style remains the same”.
About Blue Badge Style
The Blue Badge Style website and mobile app are currently building a community whose core ethos is 'freedom shared'. However, Blue Badge Style also offers a number of additional services:
Blue Badge Style Tick Rating
The unique BBS Tick Rating System is designed to encourage venues to provide Equality of Access to Goods & Services. We rate out of 5 for each category: 1.Access, 2.Facilities and 3.Style. The scores are then aggregated to a number of BBS Ticks from 0.5 to a maximum of 3. Our aim is for ‘as recommended by Blue Badge Style’ to become an aspirational goal for any item, organisation or establishment.
Whatever you wish to do, be it go to Paris, visit the Tate, stay at a boutique hotel, or check out the latest nightclub, BBS will arrange and advise on the best way to do this.
BBS campaigns highlight where the ‘equal provisions of goods and services are unreasonably deficient’. The intention is to act as an agent for change, altering venues’ mind-set toward accessibility. It needs to be treated as the ‘norm’, rather than something a venue is compelled to do by legislation.
We also campaign for the better design of disability products, which currently look like they are from the Marquis de Sade’s basement!
Pictorial Access Descriptions (PADs)
BBS offers PADs for all hospitality venues. They are social media ready descriptions of the facilities &/or obstacles within a venue. They look at comfort rather than compliance and are as cool as the venue’s website, allowing potential customers to make an informed choices about whether to visit.