The fight to achieve inclusive design is being stepped up a gear, with the launch of an initiative led by Scope. The charity is creating a network of design experts to advise blue-chip companies on developing inclusive products and services.
The group, the Centre for Inclusive Technology and Design, has been awarded funding from the Department of Trade and Industry to kick-start a two-month pilot programme. It is working with eight undisclosed blue chip companies and will audit key products and develop training packages for senior management, focusing on raising awareness and skills among corporations through a series of consultations, research and training.
The network includes: The Royal College of Art, Royal National Institute of the Blind, UK Institute of Inclusive Design, Ricability, the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre and the Cambridge University Engineering Design and Scientific Generics.
According to David Alcock, business project manager at Scope, ‘The aim of the CITD is to work with partners from the design world and to act as a catalyst for major change in the way products and services are designed.’
Part Three of the Disability Discrimination Act came into effect last year and states that a business that provides goods, facilities or services to the public must provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure disabled people have access (DW 7 October 2004).