What makes us different from mainstream research companies?

In order to carry out consumer research in our area of specialism, we have  developed a rare resource, a panel of 400 people, all with access needs related to disability, the ageing process, dyslexia, colour deficiency, left handedness and multiples of these. Panel members are profiled by geographical location, age, gender, ethnicity, impairment/access needs, use of the internet, hobbies and interests etc. Research methods include:

  • Mystery shopping
  • User testing - equipment, products, websites   
  • Online questionnaires 
  • Telephone surveys 
  • Focus groups  
  • Interactive training using the ‘speed dating’ technique

We take a common sense approach, producing easy-to-read reports which are often written around the actual quotes of disabled and older research participants who 'tell it as it is'.

Research Examples

  • Lloyds Banking Group commissioned a piece of research involving 100 panel members in order to identify the experiences of disabled customers when using LBG, and their rivals’ branch, online and telephone services. The requirement was for a piece of consumer research that enabled them to gain deeper individual customer insights. They wanted to measure the effectiveness of their Accessibility policies and procedures against actual disabled customer fulfilment. The client believes that the valuable insights of the mystery shoppers, provided them with robust evidence on current performance and improvements that need to be made.
  • The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association wanted to assess cinemas’ disabled customer journey from start to finish. They wanted to understand the issues that they faced and what actions could be taken in order to improve the experience. Rather than use a mainstream consultancy to carry out this research, they wanted to work with someone with a strong understanding of the issues that could affect the disabled customer journey in respect of the different service channels. They also wanted the consultancy to be experienced in and comfortable with engaging with disabled people, and to have a strong database of potential participants on which to draw. 200 panel members took part in this mystery shopping programme.
  • The Rail Safety and Standards Board sought to evaluate the experiences of blind and partially sighted stakeholders when using the RNIB REACT wayfinding system, and their broader experience of travelling by train. 60 blind and partially sighted participants took part and research methods were designed to find out about the experiences of visually impaired people, and included telephone interviews, electronic questionnaires, focus groups, site visits to places where the REACT system is in place, and discussions with organisations of and for disabled people. Video recordings were made in order to illustrate the issues raised, and bring the report to life. The research findings and the insights of blind and partially sighted passengers gave the RSSB the evidence they need to influence the rail industry as it considers the Railways for All strategy.
  • The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) wanted to gain a better understanding of the real, and perceived barriers that may prevent Deaf and disabled people from taking part in sport and physical activity. The decision was taken to hold a number of impairment specific focus groups. The reason for holding separate focus groups was to encourage an open and honest discussion about impairment specific issues, without interruption or deviation, which could have been the temptation in pan-disability groups. The findings of these focus groups, gave the EFDS more detailed understanding of barriers to participation which they shared with NGBs. In turn the NGBs will gain an understanding of the ways in which they can increase opportunities for Deaf and disabled people when writing their applications for funding and developing strategies.




“Mary-Anne is the most proactive and outcome orientated researcher I've ever worked with. She met all of the targets and deadlines and went the extra mile to achieve one of the most robust peices of research in this field I have seen. A pleasure to work with as she couples her professionalism with a great relaxed style.”

Rick Williams, Managing Director, Freeney Williams 2010


"Our brief to Mary-Anne was for a qualitative piece of research involving 100 disabled people. We were delighted with the way she interpreted the brief and in the quality of feedback that she and her panel members provided. Not all the feedback made easy reading but having identified some weak points, we are now in a position to rectify these which we think will give us a competitive advantage. PS her report format is extremely readable!”

Major High Street service provider 2011