The Mall Blackburn is joining forces with local community interest company Dis-Labelled to help to reduce the stigma around invisible disabilities.
Created by Access Ability, the project is currently petitioning for disabled signage to be changed from the outdated wheelchair symbol to better represent the different and diverse types of disability.
The shopping centre has already started championing ‘dis-labelled’ with training courses for its staff that cover diversity and equality, inclusivity, autism, and dementia to name a few.
As an ‘accessible to all’ centre, The Mall has adopted the Dis-labelled signage and display plates and are looking at other resources to improve visibility and awareness.
Emma O’Connor, Director from Dis-Labelled in Blackburn said: “We’re really grateful to have the backing of The Mall Blackburn for the Dis-Labelled project as we work hard supporting Lancashire as a Disability Confident Leader.
“80% of disabilities are invisible and 90% of disabled people don’t need a wheelchair, so it’s hard to understand why disabilities are still represented by the outdated symbol from the 70s.
“We’re hoping our new signs and symbols will better represent those that need to use disabled facilities and will raise awareness to others that a disability is not always visible.
“We can’t thank The Mall enough for their support and have loved seeing the signage up around the centre, hopefully the first of many public spaces!”
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting Dis-Labelled with their new campaign raising awareness and reducing the stigma of invisible disabilities.
“We have already received wonderful feedback about the new signage and hope more businesses and public spaces across Lancashire can adapt and change as we strive towards inclusivity for all.”
Dis-Labelled also offers training and support to people with disabilities heading into the workplace, helping them through the DWP as well as educating businesses to be more open minded with their hiring processes.
Sign the petition to ask the Government to commission an inclusive disability symbol that would be used in all public facilities here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/588786