London, 26 February 2013, Blue Badge Style, the first app and website guide to a stylish lifestyle for the less-physically-able, has signed-up the award-winning Hoxton Hotel for its first Pictorial Access Description (PAD). The new PAD will give The Hoxton Hotel opportunity to show it’s level of inclusion with a high-quality, pictorial journey through the venue, highlighting the disabled facilities in the public areas and rooms.
Timothy Griffin, General Manager at The Hoxton Hotel commented “Our hotel was designed with inclusion in mind, so we definitely want to be able to show potential clients how easy it is to stay at the Hoxton, from the front entrance to our eleven fully accessible rooms”. He continued, “Blue Badge Style’s offering means we can offer peace of mind to people with mobility issues. They can see how the hotel looks before they arrive and understand how accessible we are, as well as work out any potential problems. This isn’t just about access compliance, but demonstrating our cool, comfortable facilities, easily on our website”.
The Blue Badge Style PAD arrives as a social media-ready tool, matching the style of the venue and can be posted to a website, Facebook or Pinterest. The PAD will appear on a website as a button and once clicked, takes the customer visually through the access points before their visit. It includes overlay photos and narrative of facilities and is placed on an easy to find area of a website.
Founder of Blue Badge Style, Fiona Jarvis explains, “We’re really delighted that one of our favourite hotels, with three Blue Badge Style Ticks has become the first to have a PAD. Hotels and restaurants have often made significant investments in creating a stylish and accessible place for disabled people, but too often the information is hidden, not available on the website, or in one case, hidden beneath a paragraph about the hotel accepting dogs!”
She continues, “People with mobility issues will check out a hotel, restaurant or bar online before they go, but it’s often very difficult to work out what the obstacles are for your particular type of 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 how easy is it to get up a ramp. It’s all about knowing what to expect. Blue Badge Style’s pictorial descriptions will be as cool as the venue’s website, allowing potential customers to make an informed choice before going out and having a good time!”.
The Hoxton Hotel will receive a link to the images so they don’t have to reconfigure their website, it is hosted by BBS. The PAD will also be published on the Blue Badge Style website, and accessed via the app.
Blue Badge Style is the only company that looks at disability from the point of view of style & design, 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 need not stop you from enjoying the good things in life!”.
Notes to Editors
Photography available on request
About the Stylish Less-Physically-Able Market
The Family Resources Survey (FRS) 2010/11 states that 19% of the UK population suffer from some form of long-term disability (11.5m). There are also an estimated 6 million carers. This does not include temporarily disabled people, their families, friends or unregistered carers. The Blue Badge Style PADs are intended to give venues a competitive edge in the growing market of affluent, less-able individuals, estimated at £1.8bn a year in the UK.
The annual spending power of disabled adults in Britain covered by the DDA is estimated at £80 billion per year – (DRC - Disability in Scotland 2004: Key Facts and Figures – 2005).
33% of people aged 50-64 in Britain have a disability – (Labour Market Trends report, April 2005). 80% of UK wealth is in the hands of people aged over 45 – (Age Profiling: Monitoring the make-up of your workforce", DWP, 2006).
The Blue Badge Style network is estimated to have a potential on line community of 1.5m stylish, cash rich and loyal visitors, spending £1.7Bn per year on restaurants and hotels alone (FRS 2010/11). Some figures put the disability market value at £86Bn in 2012. The disability equipment market is valued at £1.46Bn (DLF/ Plimsoll figs 2008). We estimate 10% of these markets are people who regard themselves as ‘stylish’.
About Blue Badge Style
The unique Blue Badge Style Tick Rating System is designed to encourage venues to provide Equality of Access to Goods & Services for less-able people. The organization rates out of 5 for each category: 1. Access, 2. Facilities and 3. Style. The scores are then aggregated to a number of Blue Badge Style 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. BBS is affiliated with the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC), ensuring the company is up-to-date with changes in legislation and equipment. It also has relationships with relevant Local Authorities and their particular access policies. www.bluebadgestyle.com @bluebadgestyle
Developed in conjunction with UCL Advances and Stuxbot, the Blue Badge Style app is available on:
About the Hoxton Hotel
When The Hoxton opened its doors on 1st September 2006, it represented a welcome wake-up-call for London’s hotel guests – and a revolution for London’s hoteliers. From that moment there was no longer any need to sacrifice style for budget: The Hoxton combines destination sleeping, drinking and dining with rates that start from £69 a night.
Built from new on the site of an old car park, set on the fringes of the City and a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street railway station, The Hoxton was planned meticulously right from the start. From the rubble rose a hotel phenomena.
The Hoxton applies an Easyjet approach to pricing – the earlier you book, the less you pay. The standard rates start at £49, then £99, and upwards to a top price of £299.
The generosity doesn’t end once guests are through the door. Guests get 1 hour of free phone calls to landlines (and US mobiles) in the UK, USA, Australia and most of Europe. There is a supermarket-priced lobby shop for everything from confectionary to champagne; and essentials – fresh milk, mineral water, WiFi, Healthy Breakfast Bag – are totally free.
On top of this, there is plenty that money can’t buy. Its luxe-industrial look and laid-back ambience allows The Hoxton to sit easily in the up-and-coming district from which it takes its name. Its sharp interiors, classily casual restaurant and bar, and quirky details, conjure up an enticing and distinct style.
Over the six upper floors, each of the 208 guest rooms are cleverly designed to maximise comfort, space and style. Puffy duck-down duvets and 300 thread count linen deck the beds with their money-no-object mattresses. Sandy walls are mercifully bare of prints and posters, instead etched with a relief study of the City of London’s skyline.
For more information about Blue Badge Style, please contact PR Savvy:
Mayra Cunningham / email@example.com / 078 2525 1615
Kate Warwick / firstname.lastname@example.org / 078 1069 7282
Lisa Devaney / email@example.com / 077 1123 8173
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.