How Brands Are Making A Difference In the Lives Of Differently-Abled
In the quintessential profile of an average Indian consumer, disability rarely finds a mention. According to a survey conducted, disabled persons comprise 2.21 per cent of the country’s population. Specially-abled people represent a vast market that is often overlooked and largely untapped. However, the dynamics have changed a little over the past few years. Various brands have woken up to the needs of this new clientele and find a huge business opportunity by catering to the differently-abled consumers, at the same time ensuring inclusiveness and equality.
Here’s how brands are tapping the market of differently-abled:
The renowned clothing retailer, Marks & Spencer, has created a clothing line designed for children with disabilities. The clothes have been adapted in different ways from children who need extra help in getting dressed. Things like zips and buttons have been replaced with velcro; coats have velcro down the front & back so they’re easier to put on for those who are in a wheelchair, and so on.
The clothing line was launched with expert inputs from paediatricians, parents, etc. The people appreciated and loved this noble idea.
Quick Service Restaurant QSR
Many specially-abled people find QSR job profiles taxing in comparison to other jobs. This is because it requires the person to stay on one’s feet the entire day.
KFC has been proactively creating employment opportunities for the specially-abled. Due to a lack of special needs’ schools specializing in retail especially, that focuses on skill development and employability KFC setup the “KFC Academy”.
One of the biggest pizza franchise in the world, Pizza Hut has also employed differently-abled staff for one of their franchises. There are specially designed menus and tabletops that help customers to communicate with the outlet employees by using sign language.
Similarly, Arpan Cafe, in Mumbai, is run entirely by differently-abled people, breaking all the stereotypes and brewing a new change.
When it comes to finding love and companionship, differently-abled people have to go through a lot: from public shaming to blatant prejudices and hypocrisy. But nowadays, many matchmaking apps are addressing this major section of society too and they are created with a vision to aid independent living and social acceptance by the community.
Apps like Inclov and Wanted Umbrella are some of the matchmaking sites for specially-abled, which promotes inclusiveness within the community making it accessible and safe for users.
Although an increasing number of hotels and shopping malls have started providing special facilities for differently-abled tourists, a Kerala-based tourism company that is exclusively devoted to differently-abled people has launched its operations across the country. Facilities for accessible tourism involve providing differently abled tourists with accessible vehicles, specially-trained co-ordinators and tour guides, etc.