The objective of the training is to provide 60 research postgraduates (more could be accommodated through more workshops) with the skills to improve their understanding of the needs of ‘customers’ in order to foster exploitation of research. This involves gaining an understanding of individual preferences and needs (e.g. disabled, elderly) as well as ensuring all material communicated (e.g. research or entrepreneurial activities and outcomes) is accessible and easy to use. The requirement for enterprises and entrepreneurs not to have discriminatory practices related to disability is paramount and has been mentioned in QAA code of practice (1999) and Disability Discrimination Act (1995/2004) and Equality Act 2010.
Current statistics show that over 50s now control around 80% of the UK’s personal wealth and account for 40% of consumer spending while people with disabilities have an estimated annual spending power of £80 billion a year. Neglecting to design for older people and potential impairments is therefore a serious commercial error.