Intersectionality and lived experience in inclusive design

Priyanca has long dark curly hair and brown eyes. She smiles and stands against a leafy green tree on a cheery, sunny day.Learn about applying intersectionality and lived experience in inclusive design, a more holistic approach to accessibility.

We’ll be exploring how different combinations of barriers could impact a person’s experience. Imagining how we could mitigate some of these barriers or try to address them.

We often separate out different aspects of accessibility. However, it’s not uncommon for people to experience multiple barriers which compound each other. If we zoom in too much on solving a problem for one group of people, we can involuntarily make experiences less inclusive.

  • Our users are not one-dimensional people who experience one characteristic at a time.
  • Different access needs and barriers can coexist in the same person.
  • Needs and barriers co-occur, exacerbate, and interact with each other.
  • We also often underestimate neurodiversity and sensory needs.
  • Two people who seem quite similar on paper can be wildly different.

Without diving too much into the statistics, people can often experience multiple hurdles at the same time. It is entirely possible for a real person to be black, dyslexic, trans, on a low income and not have access to a car – all at the same time.

You’ll come away from the talk with a more nuanced and human approach to accessibility which goes beyond compliance and is hopefully more effective and more true to how things really are.


Priyanca is a Senior User Researcher in the public sector, specialising in Accessibility and Inclusion. She’s been experimenting with and using assistive technology for well over ten years. This has involved a lot of creative problem solving, openness and resilience. She can look at experiences through the lens of how access needs and assistive tech are going to interact with different touchpoints.

She aims to use her lived experience of access needs to embed inclusive practices within teams and drive forward inclusive and ethical design for users. Enabling people to empathise with the barriers our users can face and finding opportunities to alleviate and change things to make experiences better.

She is fascinated by the impacts different conditions can have on cognition, behaviour, people’s interactions and experiences of the world. She has a background in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, which she combines with lived and varied practical experience.