Back to Blog

Monday 28 September 2020
by Jackie Emson

Disability Awareness Day 2020

Due to Government restrictions on holding larger gathering of people, as part of the COVID-19 social distancing rules, Warrington Disability Partnership were faced with the decision to reschedule Disability Awareness Day (DAD 2020) from 12 July until 27 September. Sadly, as the restrictions are still in place, they have been forced to take the hard decision to cancel this year’s live event that usually attracts over 240 exhibitors, including around 130 disability focused charities.   

Throughout the CIVID-19 Pandemic, WDP have continued to receive equerries from thousands of disabled people, carers and their families desperate for information, advice and guidance on mobility and independent living products and support services. In response they have decided to develop an online virtual event, one that will be fully interactive and based on the DAD event attended by over 22,000 people each year.

Dave Thompson MBVE DL, Event Co-ordinator and CEO at WDP said, DAD-Virtual will go ahead on Sunday 25 October via a dedicated website www.dadvirtual.org.uk.  Dave also said, this year’s event will launch a week of complimentary events including a range of online workshops and seminars that will be held via Zoom, from Monday 26th till Friday 30th.

Dave and his team filmed a video at Walton Gardens that will be used to introduce people to the virtual event. You can watch the video via this link https://vimeo.com/444816483

Dave was keen to stress that the online DAD will be as authentic as possible, incorporating the sights, sounds and experience of DAD live. It will provide a high quality, fully interactive, alternative way for exhibitors to provide the diverse range of information, advice and guidance about their products and support services that our regular visitors have come to expect. It will also allow us to reach out to more people for whom DAD will be a new experience.

Visitors will be able to explore the event site, and each exhibition stand will include, a short video introducing the organisation, as well as other promotional videos of their products and or services. Each exhibition stand will carry branded virtual pop up banners with links to their website and social media platforms. Visitors will be able to down load promotional materials, leaflets and flyers, via PDF files.

Visitors on the day will be able to interact with the exhibitors via live chat and or emails. Visitors to the charity exhibition stands can make a donation via a virtual collection bucket linked to an online site such as Justgiving.

The live chat facility will be available on the day between 10am and 4pm, afterwards, visitors will be able to communicate via email. The website will remain available until next year’s live event on Sunday 18th July 2021, which will be a big year for the organisers, as it will be their 30th anniversary of DAD and the 30th year for the charity WDP.

The exhibition areas will be complimented by usual DAD attractions including a performing arts marquee, featuring some of the UK’s leading disability artists including the nationally recognised ELLA Performance Group who last year received their Queens Award for Voluntary Services live on stage at DAD.

A sports zone, will showcase organisations that offer a wide range of inclusive sports and hobbies including; wheelchair basketball, physical disability and learning disability rugby league, adapted scuba diving, martial arts, and more.

Visitors will find a short video with some of our main arena entertainers from past events. The site plan will allow visitors to take a look at the Walton Gardens Zoo, Heritage Yard, Walton Hall and recently renovated Orangery and Greenhouses.

Dave stressed that the website is still under construction, so please visit regularly to see how it develops.

Breaking News: Organisers of DAD Virtual, Warrington Disability Partnership, have confirmed they have secured a £40,000 grant from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, administered by the National Lottery Community Fund.

If you are interested in promotional opportunities at DAD Virtual, please contact WDP on 01925 240064 or email Dave on davethompson@disabilitypartnership.org.uk