"People with disabilities make up an estimated one billion, or 15 per cent, of the world's population. About 80 per cent are of working age (International Labour Organisation - ILO).
The experience of disability and ill health is not one that many of us would, if given the choice, invite into our lives. And yet it happens all the time. In fact, the majority of disabled people (83%) will acquire their disability during their working lives.
In the UK around 6.9 million disabled people are of working age and of those 3.2 million disabled people of working age in the UK have a job.
Government figures suggest that disabled people make up 12.9% of the public sector workforce and 11% of the private sector. However, employers who examine their own data and conduct internal surveys tell us that their figures are far lower than the national average suggests.
In 2014, our CEO Kate Nash OBE published 'Secrets & Big News' a disabled led study which asked why more people don't tell their employer about their disability or health condition.
The study based on interviews with over 2,500 thousand disabled employees in the UK showed that one of the things that will help to show the world the economic value of disabled employees is those conversations between disabled employees across organisations and businesses in the UK and globally that will drive the pace and texture for the third phase of change.
One of our aims for #PurpleLightUp is to help disabled people and employers across the world to see what happens when disabled individuals ask for the right support which enables them to be their best selves at work and to achieve great things for themselves and their employer.
The more that we are able to collectively celebrate how disabled employees, volunteers, careers are contributing to the economy, the better understanding we will have of the true numbers of disabled people across the globe who are making a significant contribution to the economy.