Design for everyone

Susan FultonAt Accessibility Scotland 2017, Susan Fulton @Designforevery1 talked about the ethos of designing inclusively within our built environment and elaborating upon the reasons why inclusive schemes should be provided.

She also highlighted some of the barriers facing both the designers and society. Susan provided some great examples of how designers can achieve an inclusive design.



So what I thought we’d do today is just touch in the historical context.

Talk a bit about the medical model of disability and the social model.

Obviously the ethos of inclusive design, where it all come started and where we think we are today.

Some of the barriers and challenges, and that could be barriers to design teams, it could be barriers to individuals.

And challenges, lots of challenges for everyone.

And hopefully we can make some examples of how designers can design inclusively.

I think we’ve heard from all speakers today.

The aim to use it as a key, so to think about that in user, and come up with a product or environment that can suit as many people as possible.

I’m not good with technology, so hopefully I’ll be able to work this.

The medical model of disability has very much been changed in what is wrong with that person.

That person needs to be fixed.

They need to be cured.

And the model doesn’t recognize the person in any of us, we all have different abilities.

Everyone of us in this room today, we all have different abilities.

We have different things we can offer.

But the medical model is so negative.

I mean you look at some of the words on this thing.

It’s the international symbol of access.

Those arrows point towards it.

And the confined to a wheelchair, can’t climb stairs, needs help, can’t use hands, can’t talk.

And so it’s just been negative, really, really negative.

And the social model of disability kind of started in the 1970’s.

And, so I’ll just go to my notes for the next one.

It’s the UK organisation that was the Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation. UPIAS, and they stated that it’s society that actually disables people.

It’s not the person’s impairment or disability, it’s actuallymembers of society.

So we don’t design accessible websites, and we don’t design accessible environment.

That’s what disables people.

When we look at the social model of disability, there was a chap, Mike Oliver, who’s an academic and who happens to have a disability.

And he coined the phrase “the social model”.

And I think it was in the early 80’s he come up with that phrase.

And he was sent census for him to complete and he really took exception to the questions because the census board wanted information about his disability.

But the way the questions were structured, it was the medical model, it was “what’s wrong with you”.

So I’ve just chosen a few questions.

So the first one is,

What complaint, causes your difficulty in holding, gripping, or turning things?

So it’s about the person.

What’s wrong with you, you can’t do that?

So Mike turned that into,

What defects in the design of everyday equipment, like jars, bottles, tins, causes you difficulty in holding, gripping, or turning them?

Now I don’t know about anybody else, but me and a jar of olives,  the jar wins every time.

It just goes all over me, it goes over the work surface.

So you can see what he’s done, he’s turned the emphasis away from the individual.

The next one is,

Are your difficulties in understanding people, mainly due to hearing difficulties?

Again, what’s wrong with you.

So he changed that into,

Are your difficulties understanding people mainly due to their inability to communicate with you?

And if we think about deaf people, who’s first language is often the sign language BSL.

Bring 70,000 individuals who use that language.

And don’t consider themselves to have a disability.

But we don’t teach children in schools, as far as but we have British Sign Language.

But interestingly, if you’re an insomniac, if you turn on the TV in the wee small hours, a lot of the programs will be signed.

And yet we don’t sign mainstream TV.

And the final example which relates to the

Does your health problem or disability prevent you from going out as often or as far as you’d like?

And he turned that one into,

What are the environmental constraints, which make it difficult for you to get about in your immediate neighbourhood?

And again, the aim is back on the designers who built the environment.

If you get it wrong, then you disable people, because they are not able to get about, get across town, get into that coffee shop.

Meet, socialise, and that because as human beings that’s what we want to do.

We want to socialise, so we build in barriers.

Quite often if I’m speaking to people, there’s an automatic assumption that various elements are covered under the building regulations.

And I just want to tell you about way back the building regulations used to be split up into parts.

Part A through to Part S.

In 1990, Part T was introduced, and it was disable for disabled people.

But it was quite minimal, it was general access arrangements.

Certain facilities, spectator theaters with fixed seating.

So quite basic elements to Part T.

And for some people that was really good. Thinking about design, for accessibility.

Others quite rightly said well, why is that a central part, why, as a design for access ability interspaced throughout the rest of the building regulations?

So Part T was there for 10 years.

And then the elements were being interspaced, and more accessible ability elements throughout it.

But currently the external problem that we’re able to negotiate everyday, is still not fully covered by regulation.

Unless you have really robust supplementary planning games that planners can condition applications.

We can still get schemes that disable people.

On this slide is an example, a photograph, and there’s no curve.

It’s a shared space.

And has a gray palette, we seems to be designing gray these days, it must’ve been the latest fashion colour.

And we have stainless steel borders, with no contrasting band on it at all.

So for quite a few people, the lack of a curve, the command for like an guide dog, to go see a crossing point for someone that’s feeling the curve, if there is no curve, there’s no safe crossing point.

Like a dog owner.

And the fact that there are stainless steel against a green palette will just be, they go invisible for a great lot of people.

And so again buyers will leave.

Accessible car parking vans that are stand on side and they have a hatch on either side and at the back.

The two of my friends drive vehicles, were seated on the wheelchairs, so they make space at the back of the vehicle for the tailgate to come up and the ramp to come down.

So they don’t have that safe area at the back of the vehicle.

So you can actually feel like quite vulnerable and one friends was just about run down at the supermarket because of the shopping panic a week before Christmas, because a driver was desperate for a car parking bay.

And literally run over the bottom of his ramp on his car.

And if he’d been on that ramp, that would just have been a disaster for him.

And accessible car parking space are not in the golden standards.

Over the years, the building regulations have improved, and we’ve done a lot to encourage designers to make buildings more accessible.

A principle entrance should be accessible, accessible doors ex cetera.

But for me, if there was an emergency and you need to evacuate, I think there still needs to be a lot of work done in that area.

All have to do terms of the building regulations for means of escape.

So they need to provide a temporary waiting space.

It used to be called a refuge, but I think that safe area.

And it’s not, I wouldn’t like to be sat somewhere with potentially a fire going on and need to be evacuated, so it was changed to a temporary waiting space to get that that is temporary until evacuated.

So the need to provide a 700 by 1200 millimeter space.

And there is also a requirement to assess the escape and reduce the anxiety of occupants making use of the space, an emergency voice communication system should be provided.

So that’s all that’s required under the building regulations.

And quite often in addition to that, building a manager’s on disable will install an evacuation chair.

And a lot of people assume, everybody can use the chair to get into the building.

Not everyone can, or will want to transfer into an evacuation.

So what happens in that scenario?

Does that mean that we have a multistory building, and certain people can’t access it because we can’t guarantee their safety, and get them back out.

I’ve spoken to the building staff’s division, and because of building regulations, have moved away from being introspective.

So we tell architects what to do.

To performance based, where they show us how they meet the functional standards.

Then the building starts diversion can’t be and say you have to have an evacuation lift.

I think the Grenfell Fire will be interesting as to what will come out of that in a few years take.

Changing places, toilets, can change the lives of families, if that facility’s provided.

It’s a large inaccessible toilet with a rising fall bench, track and hoist system.

Some families if they want to take, families on a day out, or to festivals, or whopping or whatever, if there’s no changing places toilet, it’s not traumatic, but it’s maybe it is for some but, currently some families have to leave the accessible toilet door open.

Because it’s not large enough for maybe two people helping to change somebody.

And the person who needs change needs to lay on the floor.

There’s hygiene issues, there’s dignity issues, all sorts of issues.

But if there’s a changing places toilet, then the whole family can go and plan to do a roundabout, to travel to and from that facility.

Again it’s mentioned within the building regulations, and it says, “There is no requirement to avail a CP toilet “in terms of the building regulations.

“However a CP toilet is required for the” And it lists the items that should be included in it.

I wanted to talk about the that on failing engineering in a few slides.

Usually, if a CP toilet’s installed in design with a value engineer, that’s one of the things that gets dropped.

Flashing lights, the fire alarm.

I think we should actually looklit up. I don’t like the visual lights today.

So a visual light, if a fire alarm goes off, someone who is profoundly deaf and can’t hear the alarm, also the It’s simple to look at the flashing beacon and they know, oh it’s an evacuation, and then I just the same as everybody else, and evacuate the building.

Contrast and color scheme, very very few mentions about federal regulations.

Things like, contrasting those things like stairs, guard rails with inaccessible toilets, lobby, lots of things.

Nothing about the walls, the ceilings. I was talking to a colleague a few weeks ago, and he provided a great analogy.

In terms of building regulations, if you have a building, if you turn it upside down and shake it, anything that’s left is covered by the building regulations.

So, furniture, fittings, that thing, like not covered with the building regulations.

It’s all thethat designers have to go with.

So inclusive design, in a new case, Selwyn Goldsmith, was the person who led the charge with inclusive design and accessibility.

And his first book was published in 1963, Designing for the Disabled.

And he was asked for a follow up edition.

So what he decided to do was actually go out, he chose the town of Norwich, perhaps the city, I’m not sure.

And he chose to observe people, and he looked.

The idea. And what the barriers were.

And looked all that in research data.

He also interviewed 284 wheelchair users.

And at that time there weren’t any dropped curbs.

And for that research in that book, that’s where the drop curb originated from, which we take for granted nowadays.

So it was his rule in observing people and observing barriers that he got slight change.

In America, they tend to talk about the term, universal design.

Again sort of, that came about, the Vietnam Vets returning from war.

And a total world that was inaccessible for them, if many of the amputations.

So there was a whole lobby.

The Americans with Disabilities Act came out in 1990.

And it was 97 that Ron Mace and a few others created the principles of universal design.

And it came up as conversation really.

The principles are, equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, presentable information, tolerance for error, low physical labor, and the final one is size and space for approach and use.

So really is common sense.

Other phrases we have are user safe designer Lifespan design, barrier free design, design for allof mainland Europe.

And inclusive design in the UK, but it’s more and more getting used in SURFACE is our research facility at University of Salford, and their definition of inclusive design is a way of designing products and environments so that they’re usable and appealing to everyone.

Regardless of age, ability or circumstance, by working with users to remove barriers in the social, technical, political, and economic processes underpinning design.

So that’s their definition of inclusive design.

The University of (mumbles) have a fantastic resource in terms of inclusive design.

And their idea of the main faces of inclusive concepts is A.

The diagram of Four key elements, it’s manage, create, evaluate, and explore.

And ask designers simple questions, what should we do next?

In terms of managing.

What are the needs?

How can the needs be met?

And how well the need’s met, so I suppose that’s a bit testing.

So that’s their philosophy in how you achieve an inclusive concept design.

Next slide is a video from the design council (Inclusive Design – from the pixel to the city). And it just sums up what I think is exactly what inclusive design is.

Hopefully I can work it.

Clip starts

Woman On Audio: They commute by You know I have to keep my granddaughters off it. Can be used by someone as old as me, without any problem. Truly inclusive and a brilliant piece of design.

Man on Audio: The best examples of inclusive design, don’t shout “inclusive”, they just happen to embrace a really wide range of users.

Man 2 on Audio: Inclusive design to all people or to elderly people, and with whatever impairment.

Man on Audio: It’s making stuff that just works better for everyone.

Woman 2 on Audio: Inclusivity in such a way that you don’t have to think, “Oh I’ve done this especially for me and this category” Which is an uncomfortable feeling.

Man on Audio: Designers really have to empathize with people. Understand their needs, their wants, their beliefs.

Man 2 on Audio: Most famous example of this for me, is the Ford Focus. What they did was dress the young designers up in these Third Age Suits. Gloves and to restrict movement. Glasses that mimic the yellowing of the cornea. Then the designers had to try and use their own designs, and if it didn’t work, they had to improve.

Man 3 on Audio: That car was not so, as in old people car, or as an injured user car. But it actually sold very well amongst all people.

Woman 2 on Audio: It’s not until you go and really spend time in these places and get to know these people, that you’re actually able to understand what is meaningful to them.

Man on Audio: Whether it’s people in wheelchairs, young people, old people, business people, you have to talk to the whole group of people to understand what the product is.

Woman on Audio: It’s about the widest number of consumers, and which business doesn’t want them.

Man 3 on Audio: If you get it right, it will sell because you actually increase the market, increase the people that you’re talking to.

Woman on Audio: I’d hate to live in a world where there’s no consideration for inclusive design.

Man 2 on Audio: To me it’s the only way we should design.

Man 3 on Audio: If you wanna make a difference with design, then you should become an inclusive designer.

Clip ends

So that was a quick video from the design council.

Thank you.

And yeah I just think it very succinctly sums up what inclusive design is.

They spoke about the Ford Focus, a auto car in that video at that time of production.

It was one of the most accessible vehicles on the market, but it wasn’t targeted at, people with disability.

And they recognized that their designers were probably young, fat, and healthy.

So how can they design for someone or empathize if they can’t experience that for themselves.

So the third age suit, so for any of you who there’s a copy of the Third Age Suit.

Now, it’s right next to as well, so I don’t know what the connection has been.

Yeah so it just keeps you can open the doors right away. buggies, car seats, ex cetera.

So, inclusive design is about creating products not environments, and for me, policies and strategies as well.

That are usable by a wide variety of people.

But it’s important to realize it’s definitely not a one size fits all.

And it’s definitely not involved on the end of the process.

And it begins on the very start of the process, and continues during that journey.

And for me, it’s at the end of the journey as well.

Something called post document or allegations going back into the design, and observe how are people actually using that.

And that’s an interesting exercise for architects and designers because, they possibly have a vision of how you see that space being used, but in actual fact people use it in so many different ways.

That’s a learning experience for them.

Barriers and challenges, I think we’ve heard this more that the end user is key.

And usually with the end user that are barriers for design teams, are not barriers for the end users themselves.

Sometimes the way projects are procured, teams analyze an issue, and the designers just have to get a design, and get the clients approval, get funding ex cetera.

And after designers are engaging with NGO’s here today, accessible venues can be a problem.

And meeting the requirements of all the needs.

If the design team are not disability aware, if someone changes a meeting at 9:00 in the morning, and they expect disabled people to come along, they are perhaps not fully aware.

You know if people have to align transport, and they have to align taxis, that accessible taxi in particular can be from a school run contract.

So for a lot of people getting somewhere from 9:00 to 9:30, even 10:00, can be a big issue.

Personal care as well.

So if you really really want to engage, you time your event a time that’s gonna suit people to come along.

I think knowing who to engage with, for me that’s kind of stated.

It’s about getting that balance right between the knowledge, of the design experts, and actually learning from the real experts.

Because the end users have to probably overcome barriers every single day, and they’ve got lots of experience that they can share.

So it’s that jail approach in the diagram shows the dots of knowledge, and then the experience, the dots being lined up.

For me that’s what as I said, a joint conversation.

We’ve spoken about education and awareness.

I spoke to one of my young planning colleagues the other day, and I was asking them, “Is planning particularly…”

What did he learn, how many errors or how many modules did he get in terms of accessibility inclusive design.

And he was stumped for a little while.

And he came back and said, “Not much really.”

It takes architects seven years to qualify for them to be an architect.

And again, speaking to some architects, if you’re qualified, possibly talking half a day or a day.

Seeing this for one to two months over a seven year program, that’s really not a lot of input.

And to learn about accessibility and inclusive design over a seven year period.

And these are the people that should know about then go back to the building regulations who are limited in what they can actually enforce.

To get an inclusive design brief is really important as well. And I think to state the intent at the beginning, that you want this design to be accessible inclusive.

The Queen Elizabeth Park in London has anyone been there? I would encourage you to as it’s, did you like it Paul?

[Paul] Yes.

Yeah it’s up.

And the intent, every design meeting from that project, the intent was to reinforce, this was gonna be the most inclusive games ever.

This is gonna be the most inclusive park ever.

The design, the client set plans to the design team.

With the ingredients that they wanted.

And as many barriers were removed as possible.

Value engineering.

I was in discussion yesterday via email, a woman called about asking…

And I think the design team thought they were doing the right thing, by providing a meandering path next to a ramp.

And we value engineered it, the associated steps.

But what a lot of people don’t realise is that not everyone can or want to use like a bumped surface, cause that actually is really painful.

And some people prefer to use sticks when they can hold onto the handrail, and actually make their way up the steps.

We value engineered and that was unfortunate.

And I think the challenge for designers is to get that balance between form and function.

Yes we would rather place that we use on a daily basis to be aesthetic, to be you know, virtually nice but, we need to remember that function is an important part of I think for me the lack of accessibility professionals within a design teams is a big, a big barrier.

Because all our decisions are being taken without the right mode of expertise involved in that.

And this next slide, I walked past this construction site three years ago, and the photograph on the right hand side is the board that displays the professional team.

So we obviously have the architect, the interior designer, the landscape architect, engineers, ex cetera.

And we have an ecology consultant, and I’m not saying, you know those guys aren’t important, a pool consultant, water feature consultant, but we have no access consultant.

And this was a 80 project.

And it just struck me how, the access consultant to me would have been beneficial to that project. I’ll leave it up to you whether to decide if it’s inclusive or not, but the picture on the left is pictograms of an outer door into one of the wedding doors, directing people to the main entrance.

It should be intuitive, you shouldn’t have to seek out where the main entrance is.

Internally they had thought about seating for people.

But the timber seating, the timber bench, is again, it’s a timber wall, and it’s on a timber floor.

So the impaired person is too the bench, and it’s protected from to actually physically walk into.

Next thing called again.

The left hand photograph is a set of steps, gray and gray, where only one strap of contrasting using at the top. sorry, the tell tale warning that again that’s gray against the gray background.

And the right hand photograph is the gray surface with a gray off white teal, more like gray off white teal, and challenging, definitely.

The last few slides are just about examples.

Cycling is changing.

We had a cuttage to get our bikes to get healthier, but designers don’t think about alternative styles of cycles, like accessible bikes, trikes, tents where toddlers are getting towed at the back.

The top left photograph is like a group of youngsters going to school in Holland, where cycling is just massive.

So this kind of infrastructure, caught up with that.

We like cycling, in this country.

Bottom left is a photograph of an older couple, on a cycle that’s ridden by a younger person on the back.

For them to experience what it’s like to get out and about on a cycle route, I think that’s and I think more funding’s going towards that project.

And the bottom right is just definitely cyclists, wheels shot at a cycle park.

But as I gain a little sight into that photograph, it’s not to go from here.

But what it actually says is for cyclists, to warn them and to look at the pedestrians.

Which I think that is pretty funny.

Funding is just means available, I think we had a speaker last week for local authorities in Scotland.

And it would be interesting to see how many cyclists got involved in shaping those new cycle paths.

Seating, very, very important. We need to get out and about and for some people will be a little bit older, disability, it can stop them from going out if they know there’s not a seat or relaxation.

So the top right photograph shows our bench seat, and you can only access it by a chipped path.

And then at the edge of that path.

But the photograph on the right has a chap who’s a wheelchair user, with his dog, sat beside a lady on the bench, having a nice chat.

The top left photograph is an example of seating at the Queen Elizabeth park, with, we seem to have thought… I’ve probably seen a contrast of colors not great.

But in terms of thinking about the intuitives, there was a gap in the seating.

Where if you’re a wheel chair user, or someone with an assistance dog, or a chair, or a push stool and a buggy, you can still sit on the seating along with your family and friends.

And you’re not having to sit out and be separate.

This top left photograph the chap’s cycles and got tired, so a bench has the bench people actually use it to sunbathe, or people just sit on benches.

We use benches in different ways.

And the right hand structure, they’ve incorporated two sets of armrests, where people who need a wee bit help to get back up.

Top left picture is our traditional picnic bench, timber to the top with the two seats on either sides of the bench seats.

Can be quite difficult to manoeuvre into the bench seats.

And sometimes doesn’t cater very well for people round about it.

Whereas the photograph on the right is an accessible picnic bench where, you can just draw a chair up, if you’re a wheelchair user.

A buggy, pusher, whatever. And you can all sit around the table together.

The carpets on the left.

It’s actually a set of stairs.

I think a lot of people would struggle with that carpet design.

So where is the end of the step?

You just really don’t know.

Steps on the right hand side, although not 100% perfect, excuse me, we have attempted to get a carpet working with the contrast the step. excuse me.

But they realize that it can be an issue.

Seating again, thank you about the top left photograph, two seats together.

And that’s with a higher height.

Not everyone can sit in a lowdown seat and then easily get back up again.

The bottom right photograph is a train carriage.

And quite often you’ll see parents have to hold the not to look out the window of the train.

Just thought about the of a child being able to look out everybody else.

Desk and standing desk is stand up or walk about.

The picture on the right hand side is a girl sitting at a desk, but the PC can actually be adapted, so if she wants to stand and very well do her work, then she can.

Or drop it back down to a comfortable height when she’s seated.

Lector comes in different shapes and sizes, as do people.

So the lector can be raised up if you’re a particularly tall individual, to suit your needs.

Or if you happen to be short or be seated.

The lector can drop down to suit your needs as well.

Visual acuity is very important in design.

This left hand photograph is a picture of a ticket machine.

Again it’s gray.

So you really struggle when you look at that to know where to put your coins if you have a visual impairment.

The middle photograph is another ticket timestamp, ticket machine.

Lots of colors, and actually has, one, two, three on it.

So you start at process one, that’s the journey you want to take.

Number two would be put the money in.

And then number three, where you collect your ticket.

And the third photograph is just showing someone with a visual impairment, how they would see that ticket machine.

So a very restricted view.

So it’s less scanning for them to have to do.

Surfaces and lighting can be just a really big problem a lot of people.

Photograph on the left is a highly polished red surface.

With lighting above, and a shop window to the right.

It’s throwing out quite a lot of light, so some people would look at then, “Oh is the floor wet? Is it slippery am I able to go over?”

And if it’s that bad then they probably wouldn’t go to that place again. navigating is just too difficult definitely.

The photograph on the right is up lighters, finding how to look down that can actually cause quite a lot of glare.

Examination table, standard height, so if you’re a doctor, particularly tall, you have to bend over to examine your patients.

Or if you’re a shorter person, hopping to get up onto the bed, having to provide a step for you, having to help getting up and down.

There’s a photograph on the right, it’s a rise and fall examination table. And again it’s just offering flexibility in use.

Left photograph as I said, are lockers for a sports area.

And again the designers actually thought about the end user.

So if you have a prosthetic limb, some of the standards lockers might not be able to accommodate your limb and your sports.

That’s why if you are a wheelchair user, you can roll onto the lockers, open the door of the locker key is, the key is quite visible.

The contrasting colours and Braille is very large numbers.

To remember what your locker number is.

The photograph on the right is a raised flower bed.

Sometimes raised flower beds don’t have the facility for wheel chair users.

Or somebody’s who’s just got a bad back and wants to sit down with the potted plants or whatever.

The best design allows the user to same as everybody else. Just come to the last couple of slides.

That’s Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Polish.

[Student] That’s not Polish.

[Susan] Oh!

[Student] Yeah in Portugues

[Susan] Okay, fantastic, so if you’re struggling, that language wasn’t your first language, symbols are really really important.

So yes, correct, Apple.

Apple shops don’t even have the word “Apple” above the shops they just have that symbol, because it’s an icon.

It was back i the 14th Century King Richard declared that all public houses should have pictures as well as names.

So if it was I’d have to have a photograph of because a lot of the population was illiterate, but they still needed to trade.

So if we’re meeting somebody in the next village to trade, that’s so they knew to meet.

So just to summarize, inclusive design offers flexibility and choice. For everyone irrespective of ability, age, or gender.

The end user’s definitely key, to engage with the end user. And design inclusively, and not exclusively.

That’s the basis, thank you very much.