HM Revenue & Customs is awarded for leading best practice on ICT accessibility

London, UK – HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was recently awarded a Disability-smart Award for leading best practice on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) accessibility across the public sector and beyond. Organised by Business Disability Forum (BDF), the Disability-smart Awards are given to companies that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to employing, working with and doing business with disabled people.

HMRC won the category of ICT, with Sean Smith OBE winning the separate category of Disability Champion.

The ICT award is given to companies that ensure their ICT is accessible to disabled people and has good usability. The Accessibility Team at HMRC were commended by the judging panel for having readily available guidance and support for staff around ICT-related adjustments and centralised, efficient procedures for putting these adjustments in place.

Sean Smith is HMRC's lead on all aspects of ICT Accessibility, and works closely with individual members of staff with complex needs to improve the way the organisation supports disabled staff and customers. Sean was heavily involved in the formation of an IT Accessibility committee and a Visually Impaired User Group. The impact of his work secured him the award for Disability Champion.

Paul Day, Chief of Staff at Business Disability Forum, said:

"HM Revenue and Customs has considered the accessibility needs of disabled people in all aspects of ICT, from procurement of products, services and suppliers through to making reasonable adjustments. Organisations in both the private and public sectors could learn a lot from HMRC's successful integration of accessibility considerations into standardised processes."

Mark Dearnley, Chief Digital and Information Officer at HM Revenue & Customs said:

"HMRC has done a huge amount to identify the main issues facing disabled colleagues in HMRC and we’ve made some significant improvements, particularly in the area of assistive technology. But we’re still on a journey and there’s much more we still need to be doing to improve things. I’m looking forward to addressing these challenges in 2015, so we can continue working towards a more inclusive and accessible workplace."

The 2015 awards scheme is now open for entries. For more information or to enter, visit


  1. Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit business consortium that represents some 300 organisations that employ 20% of the UK workforce. Formerly called the Employers’ Forum on Disability, the company has more than twenty years’ experience of working with public and private sector employers and service providers. For more information about the Forum please visit:
  2. For further information on the Disability Standard and details of the other award categories and their winners please visit
  3. For more information on HM Revenue & Customs' equality and diversity strategy, please visit
  4. For media enquiries please contact Ashley Teaupa, Interim Communications and Marketing Manager on 020-7089-2463 or email

Ashley Teaupa - Interim Communications and Marketing Manager

Email: | Phone: 020 7089 2463


About Us

Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit member organisation that makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and employ disabled people. We have more than twenty years experience of working with public and private sector organisations, formerly as the Employers’ Forum on Disability. Our members employ almost 20% of the UK workforce and, together, we seek to remove the barriers between public and private organisations and disabled people. We are a key stakeholder for both business and government. We have contributed to the establishment and development of meaningful disability discrimination legislation in the UK. Business Disability Forum provides pragmatic support by sharing expertise, giving advice, providing training and facilitating networking opportunities. This helps organisations become fully accessible to disabled customers and employees. Our pioneering Disability Standard is a measure of an organisations’ ability to be disability-smart. It provides a framework for confidently and effectively aligning ways of working, changing behaviour and improving decision making across organisations. The Business Disability Forum President's Group and the Technology Taskforce define policy with members and government. The Technology Taskforce is led by Chief Technology Officers who define best practice, establishing in 2010 our Accessible Technology Charter, and support other members in aligning their organisations.