3rdDecember is declared as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Different organizations celebrate this day by recognising the contribution as well as challenges faced by peoplewith disabilities. In recent years, the colour purple has been increasingly associated with disability, symbolising a new positive narrative about the contribution of disabled people in the workforce and the wider community.
A leading Disability Networking organisation, PurpleSpace, has urged various other organizations,keen to make an impact for people with disabilities,to start a #PurpleLightUpon the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. #PurpleLightup is a celebration ofthe economic contribution made by the disabled employeesin various professional fields. This purple colour is also used to create communities worldwide for disabled people, irrespective of their race, age or gender.
The initiative of Purple Light Up is also backed by organizations, like Civil Service, to put a spotlight on disability inclusion. Thus, a purple flag was hoisted over the building of the Ministry of Defence in the UK on 3rd December. HM Treasury, the finance ministry of the UK decked its entire office with purple light on that day and the canteen staff of this department sported purple T-shirts to mark this special day, as well as they served purple food. Moreover, the HMT department promoted awareness about disability, by distributing purple lanyards to people who asked about purple helium balloons tied to the chairs of some officers who promoted this cause. The department of Digital, Media, Culture, and Sport changed its intranet colour to purple. The Department of Work and Pensions urged all the staff to wear purple colour to honour the disabled people.
Even leading companies like Microsoft, celebrate #PurpleLightup to foster truly inclusive environment at work. Microsoft’s Purple Tuesday, with a day full of educational and insightful events,is a change programme for organisations of all sizes from all sectors to get involved in, with the common goal of improving the customer experience for disabled people 365 days a year.
The term ‘purple pound’ denotes the spending capability of disabled peopleand their familiesin the economy of the country, just as the terms ‘grey pound’ and ‘pink pound’ refer to the spending ability of olderpeople and the LGBT community respectively. All campaigners and charitable trusts now use purple colour as the symbol of disability all over Britain. This trend started in 2010 when a protest blog run by a disabled person started using this colour. This blog site was named Broken of Britain and Kaliya Franklin was one of its founders, who decided to use purple colour as its symbol.
Now, all social workers use purple as a significant symbolic colour for disabled people and this trend is spread to other countries as well.