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Direct Access’ Founder Steven Mifsud

Nantwich-based disability accessibility consultancy Direct Access has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards this week for exporting British expertise in accessibility.

The ‘Insider North West International Trade Award – new markets’ category is for companies entering a new market for the first time.

Direct Access were nominated for identifying opportunities to export to the United States over the past year.

This included winning a state-wide contract to supply evacuation chairs in Utah and working with local communities in Vermont to create the state’s first ever Rural Accessibility Guide advising businesses on access improvements.

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The firm was also nominated by the jury of the Franco-British Trade & Investment Awards 2021 for contribution to trade and investment.

Direct Access was recognised for its leading role in identifying and working with new French partners to develop and deliver transport accessibility programmes in regional cities in France and creating opportunities with the next Olympic games, Paris 2024.

Steve Dering, Chief Operations Officer commented: “We are honoured to have been nominated for our work to make the world more inclusive for disabled people.

“Organisations are no longer interested in just complying with their country’s building design code. There is a real desire to go beyond and draw on international best practice.

“Our team, 86 per cent who are deaf or disabled, work with a diverse range of clients from Native Indian reservations in Montana to mega-events including world expositions and sporting events.

“Our clients in the UK value the depth of innovation that we are able to draw on which has seen Direct Access also expand in the UK with two new staff joining in December working on a variety of projects from rail infrastructure to education and heritage programmes.”

Direct Access Director Steven Mifsud, who is currently in the Middle East working on the accessibility programmes for the world exposition Expo 2020 Dubai, added: “The irony is such is the level of our international success means I will not be able to attend either award event.

“Team members will be attending the award events at the Lowry in Manchester and at the British Embassy in Paris both which are on 2nd December.”

The award shortlists come after the news that Director Steven Mifsud was awarded the MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in June.

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