Design Week was timely in reporting “Disabled design to cost £1.23bn” (News, DW 7 May). Few recognise that in a couple of years enforcement of the Disability Discrimination Act may not only close areas such as retail spaces which do not comply with the act, but that litigation may ensue.
How can designers improve their awareness and avoid, disability jargon, accessing confused mis-information, or getting solutions completely wrong? In 1998 an MSc in Non-Handicapping Environments: Design and Management was developed at the University of Reading to address these issues.
The future for designers is going to be grim unless they can take on board these changes. There will be a plethora of adapting and modifying of environments to meet this legislation. However, designers have an opportunity to prepare and bring their businesses forward.
Colour Design Research Centre
South Bank University