An International Launch of "The Valubable 500 Israel" forum
The Valuable 500 Forum held a unique international conference on January 13th, organized by Access Israel at the Tel Aviv Stock ExchangeThe initiative was founded by Caroline Casey, significantly vision impaired since birth and a TED speaker. Caroline’s upbringing was unique. She was not told that she was blind until she was adult, she grew up knowing that everyone is like her.
Under the initiative, 500 global companies convene with the aim of promoting the integration and employment of people with disabilities and of promoting businesses’ accessibility to customers with disabilities.
90% of the companies claim to welcome the integration of minority populations under the Diversity heading.
Only 4% actually prioritize accessibility and promote it.
This situation makes no sense, it has no logic and no business sense seeing that the target audience of people with disabilities comprises 18% and is considered the biggest minority in the world. In addition, there are the senior customers, comprising 11% of the population and growing.
The market of people with disabilities is large and growing as the global population ages. In the UK, where the large disability market is known as the Purple Pound, people with disabilities and their families spend at least £249 billion every year. In the US, the annual discretionary spending of people with disabilities is over $200 billion. The global estimate of the disability market is nearly $7 trillion. Consider these facts when estimating market size:
As such, business and social logic dictates that the right thing to do is to invest in making the business services accessible in order to profit from this huge market.
The initiative is based on this difference. It aims to encourage global companies to promote accessibility and integration, not just because it is a social issue, but also because it encompasses a huge and affluent market offering a strong niche and immense market potential.
In Israel, the issue is promoted by Access Israel and the first to join the effort is Bank HaPoalim. 37 large and leading companies have already signed on (see the list below).
The situation in Israel is especially interesting.
Israel hosts the largest number of corporations outside of London and is most advanced in terms of accessibility and integration. It has achieved this through advanced accessibility legislation and Access Israel’s efforts to introduce accessibility to large businesses.
Access Israel applies a accessibility consulting and integration model to large organizations, creating a DNA of accessibility and, in a cross-organizational effort, enabling parking lots and offices, training employees on providing sensitive and accessible service for any kind of disability. The websites and apps, call and information centers, advertising and events are made accessible to all. These efforts are conducted together with activities within the organization, aiming to promote the employment and integration of employees with disabilities and to create advanced social awareness.
Yehuda Ben Assayag – CEO, Menora Mivtachim; Avner Stepak – Vice Chairperson, Meitav Dash; Reuven Kaplan – CEO, Psagot; Yoram Naveh – CEO, Clal Insurance; Prof. Ari Shamiss, Director General, Assuta; Shelly Ochovsky – CEO, Pery; Nir Dagan – President, Arkia; Yifat Reiter – CEO, AIG; Avi Edri – CEO, Cinema City; Oded Eran – Chairperson, Bank HaPoalim; Danny Israel – CEO, Aroma Israel, and more.