Disability Smart Awards 2021 – winners announced!

The winners have demonstrated disability-inclusive efforts and actions

Winners of the Disability Smart Awards 2021 were announced yesterday at a virtual ceremony hosted by Business Disability Forum (BDF) and sponsored by disability support organisation, Microlink.

The awards celebrate and promote disability-inclusive practise across areas including leadership, recruitment, workplace experience, customer service, and technology.

Actress, broadcaster, and disability rights campaigner, Samantha Renke, co-hosted the awards ceremony, with Business Disability Forum CEO, Diane Lightfoot. The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Chloe Smith MP, also spoke at the event.

Other speakers included Jules Lockett from the London Ambulance Service and LaMondre Pough, CEO of global disability and identity organisation, Billion Strong.

Two new award categories for this year recognise the importance of the built environment and celebrate the efforts of smaller employers to create inclusive workplaces.

Alongside the winners, several individuals and organisations were ‘Highly Commended’ for their achievements.

Additionally, this year, Business Disability Forum awarded its first Disability Smart Lifetime Achievement Award. This award celebrates the work of an outstanding individual who has shown an ongoing commitment to improving life opportunities for disabled people.

This year’s Disability Smart Lifetime Achievement Award went to Tony Cates, Partner and Non-Executive UK Board Member, at KPMG. Tony has served as Senior Disability Champion for many years and has used his own experiences of hearing loss to increase understanding of disability throughout KPMG, including at the board level.

Diane Lightfoot said: “The Disability Smart Awards 2021 show what can be achieved when businesses understand and value the contribution that disabled people can make to their organisations. From the smallest to the largest business represented, all have gone the extra mile to put disabled people at the centre of their service delivery, built environments and workplaces, creating better experiences for everyone.

“The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December is leadership and participation of disabled people in a post-COVID-19 world. This is particularly fitting given the number of leaders, managers, and teams with lived experience of disability who have been honoured in this year’s awards. All are leading by example and opening up opportunities for more disabled people.”

Disability Smart Awards 2021: Full list of winners and the highly commended

Disability Smart Awards 2021 were awarded to the following organisations and individuals:

Disability Smart Built Environment Award

Winner: University of Warwick

Highly Commended: Hotel Brooklyn

Disability Smart Communications Award

Winner: Unilever

Highly Commended: Inclusion North CIC

Disability Smart Customer Service Award

Winner: Skipton Building Society

Highly Commended: Unilever

Disability Smart Diversity and Inclusion Professional Award

Winner: Monika Jankowska-Rangelov, State Street

Highly Commended: Mark Russell, KPMG

Disability Smart Leader Award

Winner: Ian Stuart, HSBC

Disability Smart Learning and Development Award

Winner: Microsoft

Disability Smart Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Tony Cates, KPMG

Disability Smart Procurement Team Award

Winner: British Land

Disability Smart Recruitment Team Award

Winner: Oliver James

Highly Commended: Mills & Reeves

Disability Smart SME Award

Winner: Millwood Servicing

Highly Commended: Patchwork Hub

Disability Smart Technology Award

Winner: Signly

Highly Commended: Digit Audio Tech

Disability Smart Workplace Adjustments Award

Winner: GSK

Highly Commended: Accenture

Disability Smart Workplace Experience Award

Winner: KPMG

Highly Commended: Auto Trader

Disability Confident Awards

The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Chloe Smith MP awarded three Disability Confident Awards (judged by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Confident Team). These were awarded to the following organisations and individuals:

Disability Confident Covid-19 Innovation Award

Winner: Mark Russell, KPMG

Highly Commended: John Chambers, HM Revenue & Customs

Disability Confident Impact Award

Winner: West Midlands Police

Highly Commended: Do-IT Solutions

Disability Confident Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace Award

Winner: Anglo American

Highly Commended: GSK

For further information on all the Disability Smart Award categories, winners, and finalists, please visit the Business Disability Forum website here.

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