Design for All (DfA) is design for human diversity, social inclusion and equality (EIDD Stockholm Declaration, 2004). It supports the creation of products, services and systems that can be used by as many people as possible without the need for special adaptation and has a people-centred approach at the heart of it. DfA has origins in the field of barrier-free accessibility but has grown to encompass much more. It can meet the great social challenges of our time such as ageing populations, the need to include differently-abled people in mainstream design as well as engage with people excluded on the basis of social, economic, financial or geographic boundaries. Inclusion is central to a DfA approach, bringing with it better design thinking, improved products and services, market success and socially-centred innovation.

DfA has been appropriated by designers working in different disciplines such as consumer products, packaging and communication design, transport and mobility as well as the built environment and sustainable development.

There is a need to progress DfA from being just seen as an ideology or philosophy to becoming a practical part of the everyday design process and demonstrating the value of the approach. In this context, Design for All Europe and Fundación ONCE promote a major new publication on Design for All which seeks to gather good examples of DfA that include people whether old or young, differently-abled, of any gender, culture or race.

The aim is to convey the practical experience of implementing Design for All drawn from designers, educators, policy makers, businesses and other organizations, articulating the key elements for success as a good practice guide for others to follow.

The publication will seek to achieve the following objectives:

  • Collect interesting European and global experiences on Design for All in all design sectors including the built environment, products, services, IT, transport and information design.
  • Analyze each experience and outline key factors in describing their success. The editorial team will look at each accepted case study to see how other people working in DfA may benefit from the learnings and how work might be transposed or reproduced in other areas, sectors or countries.
  • Publish a book in Spanish and English – the first of its kind – that exclusively showcases DfA case studies and the importance of design that considers human diversity. The book will be distributed across the EU.

If you would like to be included please send an abstract of 200 words written in international English for consideration by the editorial team. Guidelines as below:

  • Abstracts should describe design stories or case studies that address the publication theme of Design for All in Action, explicitly stating how it can be considered to have a people-centred approach.
  • Market-ready solutions are preferred but the editorial committee will consider abstracts that describe exceptional work that may not be on the market.
  • Issues concerning DfA methods for involving people in the design process and case studies describing how DfA policy or legislation has influenced design practice, can also be submitted.
  • Abstracts are in international English and NOT academic English. The editorial team will give advice on final contributions.
  • Abstracts are solicited from individuals, companies, industry, universities, research facilities, government bodies, voluntary sector organizations or anyone who has a DfA story to tell. Designers, students, start-ups, educators, marketers, policy-makers, managers, academics and business leaders are also encouraged.
  • Abstracts should include a short description of: the project, user groups, design process, outcomes, and any measures of success.

Timetable for submission:

  • 25 July 2011: abstracts of 200 words sent to Sara Pérez at
  • Abstracts reviewed by editorial committee.
  • 15 September 2011: notification of acceptance to authors
  • 15 September 2011 to 7 November 2011: Authors of accepted abstracts work on developing a complete chapter of their work. This will be no more than 750 words and will include images.
  • 7 November 2011: Chapters submitted to be reviewed by editorial committee
  • 19 December 2011: Feedback on chapters given to authors
  • 20 February 2012: ‘Camera-ready’ chapters submitted by authors for inclusion in the book
  • 15 April 2012: Book printed
  • May 2012: Book launched

Editorial Committee:

Lead editors:

Jesús Hernández, Dirección de Accesibilidad Universal, Fundación ONCE

Finn Petren, President, EIDD – Design for All Europe


Avril Accolla, Vice-President, EIDD – Design for All Italia

Onny Eikhaug, Programme Leader, Norwegian Design Council

Rama Gheerawo, Deputy Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre, Royal College of Art

Peter Neumann, EDAD

Chris Ramsden, President, Chartered Society of Designers

Key contacts:

Book facilitator:

Merih Kunur, based in UK