When I told my friend Claire that I was writing some principles on Inclusive Design for our service she asked me how they would differ from those that are already available on the internet. I replied that mine would be specific to museums and heritage sites. There is more to it than that though. For me Inclusive Design goes beyond Universal Design, which focuses mainly on usability for disabled people. It is also concerned with age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, language, etc.
Inclusive Design is a process, not a finished product.
It aims to produce things that are user-friendly for people with a wide range of needs.
It begins with the questions “If we do it this way who will we be excluding?” and “How can we do it differently so as to include them?”
Testing with a wide range of potential users has to be done at every stage in the project, to avoid costly and embarrassing mistakes.
There is no place for assumptions or guesswork in the Inclusive Design process.
You can read about the principles of Universal Design, which were developed in the 1990’s by following this link:
Anyone who is interested in next June’s Blind Creations conference (which I wrote about on 18 September) might also be interested in a free exhibition this November at the Peltz Gallery, School of Arts, Birkbeck, London. Called How We Read, it “aims to expand conceptions of what it means to be human, by exploring the many ways in which we do something as simple as read a book.”
“From raised print to talking books and optophones, a fascinating array of historic artefacts will be on display from museums, archives, and other centres dedicated to preserving the heritage of blindness.”
For more information follow this link:
Last weekend the museum’s World War One exhibition opened. Entitled Moved by Conflict, it focuses on the way the war affected people and society, rather than on the fighting.
I am glad to say that DiscoveryPens are available, for visually impaired visitors and others who want enhanced audio access, and there is a brilliant tactile model of the “White City” which I am sure people will enjoy touching as well as looking at.
You can find out more at: –