A director of Derby-based social enterprise Nimbus Disability and vice chair of Mansfield’s Portland College has been named as one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK – working to break the stigma around disability to create a more accessible and inclusive world for all.
Mark Briggs PLY, who lives in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, has been named in the Digital and Technology category in recognition of his work to develop the internationally-recognised Access Card.
The Disability Power 100 celebrates ambition and achievement and plays a role in changing society by recognising the strengths and talents of disabled people who are pioneers, changemakers and influencers.
The 100 finalists were selected by an independent judging panel chaired by Andrew Miller MBE from more than 1,500 public nominations. The top 10 and all-important top spot, will be announced on 8 November from The Drum, Wembley.
Previous winners of the Disability Power 100 number one spot have included comedian and presenter Alex Brooker, campaigner and peer Baroness Jane Campbell, BBC disability journalist Nikki Fox.
Mark has been instrumental in the massive growth of the Access Card which has been recognised with The Queen’s Award for Innovation and is held by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and beyond who register their accessibility requirements.
Nimbus originally created The Access Card, the first accessibility scheme of its type in the world; offering a universal and consistent way of disabled people evidencing and communicating their access requirements to providers quickly and discreetly.
Powered by ‘NOS’, a bespoke software system that translates its holder’s disability/impairment or access requirements into symbols which ultimately means that when booking online, it informs providers quickly and discreetly about the access requirements that individuals need. It has realised a simplistic way for disabled people to book online and protect those reasonable adjustments for those who require them.
It is already widely recognised at the majority of the UK’s leisure and tourism venues with a large number allowing online integration and booking for disabled customers including Buckingham Palace, The NEC Resorts World Arena and Alton Towers as well as at venues in the USA, Europe and New Zealand.
Mark works alongside Nimbus Disability managing director Martin Austin MBE who was named in the Disability Power 100 last year.
Mark said: “Nimbus is run by disabled people for disabled people and our mission through the Access Card is to provide a universal, digitised way of communicating all verified access requirements, from eligibility to essential companion tickets to the necessity for wheelchair-accessible facilities and so much more.
“Our system enables each access requirement flagged to be integrated directly into ticketing systems to remove the need to continually call ‘special’ booking lines and fill in ‘special’ booking forms or answer personal and invasive questions over the phone.
“Ultimately our operating system lessens the administrative burden on disabled people at the same time as opening up equality of access to online ticketing solutions from West End theatres to theme parks.
“I am deeply honoured that I, and therefore the whole team at Nimbus Disability, have been recognised in this way.
“The Disability Power 100 is an important way to highlight disabled role models and advocates across a number of sectors whose work is changing society.”