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Category: People with disabilities

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

The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability.
People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners.
This pioneering World report on disability will make a significant contribution to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the intersection of public health, human rights and development, the report is set to become a “must have” resource for policy-makers, service providers, professionals, and advocates for people with disabilities and their families.

8th September – 15th September 2011
Objectives of the Training
The eight day intensive exercise is intended for Programme Managers of organisations and projects involved in development and disability work. The course is designed to equip the participants with appropriate attitudes, necessary knowledge and basic skills to initiate, monitor, develop and strengthen disability and development programmes apart from facilitating information exchange among participants. The participants will also be oriented towards Information Dissemination, Networking and Advocacy related to disability, development and CBR.

The workshop is targeted at middle and senior level professionals from the Government, NGOs, International NGOs and individuals interested in disability work. As the medium of instruction is English, fluency in reading, writing and speaking English is a necessary pre-requisite. The number of participants will be restricted to 25.

Faculty comprises a team of distinguished professionals, practitioners, disabled activists and management experts

– Addressing social barriers: Analysis of Attitudes, Myths and Misconceptions and their impact on People with Disabilities.
– Basic Concepts, Perspectives and Approaches of disability and inclusive development
– Poverty – Disability & Development: Analysis of cause effective relation each other
– Inclusive education & Livelihoods
– Disability and issues of multiple Marginalization (Specific reference to Women with Disability)
– Disaster and Disability: introduction to disabled friendly and inclusive strategies in conflict and emergencies
– International and National policy framework
– CBR and inclusive Development, an approach to empowerment of persons with disabilities
– Participatory approaches in planning, implementation, monitoring, reviewing and evaluation

The course will emphasize the use of participatory learning approaches and will have a fieldwork component. Lectures, group discussions, case studies and work analysis will form an essential component of the programme.

Course Fee
Foreign participant – $ 500
The fee covers simple food and twin shared accommodation. It also includes reading materials, training materials, local conveyance during field visits and certification.

The workshop is residential and all participants are expected to stay at the premises, where arrangements for lodging (on twin sharing basis) and boarding exist. Address of the venue will be sent to the confirmed participants.

The workshop will commence on the 8th f September 2011. Participants are expected to reach the venue latest by 7th evening and can plan their departure on the evening of the 15th (after 6pm) or latest by the morning of the 16th. For extra days of stay, participants will need to obtain prior permission, and make payments independently. The training programme is scheduled at Bangalore. Training also includes fieldwork for 3 days with select NGOs in and around Bangalore.

The last date for receiving duly filled applications is 22nd July 2011.

For application and other details contact :

The Training Co-ordinator,
No. 139, Richmond Road,
Bangalore – 560 025, India
Tel: 0091-80-43650650/647
Fax: 0091-80-25586284

About Actionaid
ActionAid is an international anti-poverty agency whose aim is to fight poverty worldwide. Formed in 1972, for over 30 years we have been growing and expanding to where we are today – helping over 13 million of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people in 42 countries worldwide. We work with local partners to fight poverty and injustice worldwide, reaching over 13 million of the poorest and most vulnerable people over the last year alone, helping them fight for and gain their rights to food, shelter, work, education, healthcare and a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.
In India today we work with more than 300 civil society organisations and over 12 million poor and excluded people in 25 states and two union territories. Our focus is on the rights of India’s most marginalised communities: Dalit and indigenous people, rural and urban poor, women, children and minorities. These groups face an acute lack of access to and control over resources, services, and institutions. We pay special attention to those in vulnerable situations such as people living with chronic hunger, HIV/AIDS or disability, migrant and bonded workers, children who are out of school, city-dwellers without a home, and people whose land or livelihood is under threat. We also work with women, men, girls and boys who have been trafficked, displaced, or hit by natural and human-made disasters.
People with Disabilities constitute one of our core constituencies. We believe in a twin-track approach which requires us to promote both disability specific and inclusive development initiatives towards the empowerment of People with Disabilities. We work on the premise that disability is a human rights and development issue that demands the state and civil society to provide adequate and appropriate space for people with disabilities.

As read in TechCrunch: Intuary, a mobile app startup, recently launched its first app, called Verbally, which is designed to bring speech to those without. Verbally is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solution built for the more than six million people in the U.S. suffering from speech disabilities — caused by Lou Gherig’s Disease, stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, autism, and more. The app allows users to tap the words they wish to communicate onto the app’s keyboard, or choose from pre-prepared words or phrases, which are then in turn transmitted into audio phrases.
More here.

An Android version is also to be released soon.

A roadmap is being developed for research on accessible user interfaces. If you are interested in contributing to this roadmap, please go to

The roadmap will include: (a) Clear proposals on what technologies need to be supported (e.g. eye tracking, voice/gesture reckoning, wearable devices, smart displays); (b) Clear inputs on what methodologies have to be investigated (e.g. adaptive UI design, accessibility evaluation guidelines for devices, services and applications); (c) Clear contributions on what kind of tools should be developed (e.g. automatic accessibility verification/design tools, accessible user interface description languages).

This is a unique opportunity to shape the thinking and direction of future research funding by the European Commission in this area, and the aim is to gather input from a diverse range of stakeholders. A Wikispace has been set up to collect as much input as possible, visit

EU Smart Accessibility Awards14 June 2011 – Brussels – In the week of the first EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, Vodafone Foundation launched the Smart Accessibility Awards. This is a new competition to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities and older people to help them become more actively involved in society.
The programme is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organisations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.
Launched in Brussels, the competition will award the best smartphone application across four different categories as follows:

  • Social participation: This refers to applications which help users to participate actively in today’s society and benefit from the facilities that the new technologies can offer, whatever their age, disability and/or capacity (E.g. use the web and social media through mobile devices, contact people using mobile devices to the same extent as everyone, etc).
  • Independent living: This refers to applications which help users to be more autonomous and perform daily tasks independently (E.g. using domestic appliances such as washing machine or refrigerator, opening doors safely, etc).
  • Mobility: This refers to applications which enable users to move around more freely and safely using the whole range of transport modes. It can also refer to the use of mobile devices to be guided in unknown environment (e.g. using GPS option, etc).
  • Wellbeing: This refers to applications which improve the users’ health and as well as overall feeling of wellbeing.

The competition is open from 14 June 2011 to 15 October 2011. All qualifying entries will be evaluated in November by a jury, consisting of representatives from AGE Platform Europe, European Disability Forum and Vodafone Foundation. Twelve finalists will be selected and requested to present their application before the final jury in Brussels in early December 2011 at a live final, where the four overall winners will be chosen. The total prize fund of the €200k will be split equally between the four winners.
Vodafone Foundation Director, Andrew Dunnett said “The Vodafone Foundation is keen to help as many people as possible benefit from new technologies. The Smart Accessibility Awards will help developers create apps that can really make a difference to people’s lives – we are thrilled to be able to support such an important initiative.”
Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Platform Europe Secretary General, said “We are pleased to be involved in a project that supports our efforts towards building a more inclusive society. Digital inclusion is key to ensuring as many people as possible remain actively involved in their communities and we should make sure every citizen is empowered to do so, whatever their age or capacities. We hope this competition will help reach that goal and also contribute to the ‘European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’ where the objective is to increase older people’s active participation in society and promote independent living in old age. ”
Rodolfo Cattani, EDF Executive Member, said; “Being part of this competition is very important for us. Communication technologies are vital to making possible the inclusion of persons with disabilities. When the mobile applications are not accessible, it can create new obstacles and can lead to new forms of discrimination. We look forward to seeing accessible apps.”
For more information on the contest and submit your entry: