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.
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
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
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
Highly Commended: Digit Audio Tech
Disability Smart Workplace Adjustments Award
Highly Commended: Accenture
Disability Smart Workplace Experience Award
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.