How we're supporting Purple Tuesday and why the message is so important

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November 2, 2020
Asda Marple colleagues getting behind Purple Tuesday

Our Diversity and Inclusion Co-ordinator, Faye Devenney, explains how we're creating an inclusive environment and the steps we're taking to reduce the stigma around thinking and learning differences.

Being as accessible as possible for our customers and colleagues is really important for us at Asda, which is why we are getting behind Purple Tuesday.

Each year, Purple Tuesday raises awareness of the challenges disabled people can face, with a call to action to improve customer service. Around one in five people have a hidden disability, which equates to around 28,000 colleagues, while more than one in ten of the population is neurodivergent.

Being neurodivergent means that there are differences in the way your brain functions compared to someone who is neuro-typical. Some examples would be Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD and Dyslexia.

We want to celebrate neurodiversity and reduce the stigma around learning and thinking differences.

It is the third year we have supported Purple Tuesday and at Asda we want to play our part in creating an inclusive environment to work and shop and ensure everyone is comfortable being themselves.

To recognise the day we are encouraging colleagues to wear one item of purple clothing and have put together a pocket guide with lots of really useful information about Purple Tuesday as well as useful tips and pointers, to help colleagues feel more confident when interacting with disabled customers.

We however don’t have all the answers and are really keen to work with partners, which is why we are bringing in a guest speaker to speak to our colleagues. Mark Charlesworth is a professional speaker and an expert in neurodiversity, he works with organisations across the UK to share his personal experience of Autism and ADHD and will improve understanding of neurodiversity, bust myths and show what we can do to be more inclusive to customers and colleagues.

Recently we have also supported our colleagues by providing those who need it with 'Please speak up, I'm hard of hearing' badges which are optional for colleagues with a hearing impairment. This has supported us in continuing to deliver great service to our customers, while we also provide hearing loops, braille guns, GoTo Shop trolley seats for children with additional needs and RADAR locks for toilets.

It’s important we do all we can to make everyone who works with us and shops with us feel as comfortable as possible, so they can be themselves.

Purple Tuesday is another way we can help do just that.

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