Inclusive Design is the design of mainstream products and/or services accessible to and usable by as many people as reasonably possible.
Inclusive Design’s purpose is to make the use of products and services easier for everyone. Inclusive Design also means businesses inculcating the right skills and attitudes so that staff can become more customer-centred.
Our characteristics and activities vary throughout our lifetime. As children our dimensions prevent us from reaching or manipulating objects, sometimes for security reasons and sometimes because children have not been taken into considerations as potential users. As adults we can find ourselves in situations that temporarily restrain our relationship with the environment, e.g. holding a baby, a bandaged hand, carrying shopping. Later strength and resistance begin to decrease and our reach, grip and flexibility decline; our senses weaken; and we remember less. At any time, we may suffer temporary or permanent disability.
Availability of products and services which take account of the needs of people with less than optimal characteristics can make life significantly better. Experience shows that when products or services are designed for people with specific needs, the result favours the whole population and extends the ability for some to live independently. The Prime Minister has applauded the development of businesses and towns becoming more sensitive to customers with dementia, mental health issues or hard of hearing. Many towns have proudly branded themselves as Dementia-friendly towns.
Businesses which principally target working age adults may unnecessarily restrict their own potential to serve a larger number of customers. Inclusive Design – Inclusive Eastbourne – proposes that attention to the needs of all ages expands market size. Goods which suit the weak are still suitable for the strong. A town and individual businesses offering excellence in meeting the needs of all will surely stand the best possible chance of thriving and attracting further wealth and investment. Hence Inclusive Eastbourne.