Martin Austin, Managing Director of Nimbus Disability and creator of the Access Card scheme has been named in the New Years Honours list for Accessibility in the Tourism and Entertainment Sector

Martin created Nimbus, a Derby-based Social Enterprise in 2006 as a way to generate additional income for the sister charity Disability Direct and provide tailored business-to-business advice on the requirements of the Equality Act.

Over the years Nimbus has developed and delivered a range of consultancy services to businesses ranging from University’s, NHS Trusts, Premiership Football Clubs to Festivals, Arenas and Theatres

Nimbus’ work culminated in the creation of the Access Card scheme which continues to grow at an exponential rate with support from organisations such as STAR and Attitude is Everything.

The Access Card is an innovative way for disabled people and businesses to communicate access needs and provision through a series of symbols, a free online ‘Box Office’ validation tool and/or a sophisticated digital integration into 3rd party systems. Combinations of these are used by household names such as TicketMaster , Glastonbury , The O2 and many many more.

Founder of Social Enterprise UK member, Nimbus Disability awarded MBE

Earlier in 2019 The Access Card, together with The Ticket Factory won an Attitude is Everything “Ticketing Without Barriers” Award for their groundbreaking partnership on Accessible Ticketing for Disabled Customers

Richard Howle, Director of Ticketing at the NEC Group, said:

“I am extremely proud of the work that The Ticket Factory does with The Access Cards to improve accessibility for ticket buyers with access needs and I am absolutely thrilled that this has been recognised.”

Martin’s efforts are not limited to his paid role at Nimbus and the development of the Access Card. He has also for the last 10 years + volunteered his spare time to Disability Sport as Chair and player for local Wheelchair Basketball team Derby Wheelblazers , a role which includes everything from fundraising to making 20 rounds of sandwiches on match days! Martin for a short time also represented Great Britain in Para-Hockey; the Paralympic version of Ice Hockey

For the last 3 years, he has voluntarily coached the University of Nottingham’s team which recently resulted in him being named Volunteer of the Year.

What does the award mean to Martin? He said:

“I’m incredibly proud of the Honour but for me, it’s not really about recognition of work that has already been done, but hopefully a tool to take what we’ve done with the Access Card scheme to it’s fullest potential.

“I have to thank Gavin, an Access Cardholder and volunteer at Disability Direct for the nomination and everyone that works so hard alongside me to keep the wheels turning.

“It’s also vital to acknowledge the work that’s gone before us. Before Nimbus or indeed Disability Direct (est. 1993) were even set up. I’ve been involved in this movement for nearly 20 years and recognise that it’s a long slow slog improving society for disabled people.

“It is only by working together and building on what has gone before that we will effect real change.”


  • Nimbus Disability is a Social Enterprise which donates all surplus to a charity of and for disabled people
  • The Access Card is a nationally recognised scheme and usually costs £15 for 3 years.
  • It has 25,000 members across the UK and beyond
  • Organisations working directly with the Access Card can be found on our directory but it is important to note that the card is regularly taken at face value by organisations not listed.
  • Images can be made available on request
  • All media enquiries of Nimbus can be made to Martin Austin , 0330 808 5108