The article, which features in the June/July 2013 edition of the magazine, focuses on the emerging and untapped market of disabled people within the hospitality industry. This market, which Jarvis terms 'the discerning less able' and has been noted by The Economist and Merrill Lynch, has a latent demand to eat and drink at stylish venues. Comprised of both aging baby boomers and younger disabled people, there is a £2billion market out there consisting of less able bodied people. One in three people now know someone who is disabled; yet the hospitality industry is yet to have caught up with this.
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.
Since establishing Blue Badge Style in 2007, Jarvis has been working to help the discerning less able gain greater access to style. The Blue Badge Style app helps to bring information to less-physically-able bodied people about stylish places to go.
Hospitality Today is an online magazine for the UK's hospitality market. The magazine possesses a circulation of over 35,000. Blue Badge Style hopes that a good proportion of that number will agree with Jarvis' point of view and reach out to the emerging market of the discerning less able.
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.