Tag Archives: mobility

How Inclusive Design Can Lead to Better Innovations for Everybody


Curb cuts first hit the streets in 1945 to help make it easier for people in wheelchairs to get around in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since then, they’ve found dozens of other potential uses, not only in helping people with wheelchairs around the world but also all manner of cyclists, scooter riders, stroller-pushers, and people who prefer to carry suitcases with rollers.



Manual wheelchair drivers often experience reduced mobility in winter snow and slush; Wheelblades address this problem.  Wheelblades are small skiis that attach to the front wheels of a manual wheelchair. Their wide contact surface distributes the wheelchair driver’s pressure evenly over the ground, preventing the small front wheels from sinking into the snow. Wheelblades are quickly and easily clipped over a wheelchair’s small front wheels, and due to their small size and weight they are easy to carry around once you reach your destination. Wheelblades can also be attached to the small front wheels of baby strollers to help parents push their little ones through the snow.

Deep Accessibility and Autistic Space


Blog post on WordPress by Ian Ford

Sept 3, 2013

Accessibility has historically been focused on creating more inclusive products and spaces for people with mobility disabilities. However in recent years there has been more of a focus on how to address sensory issues (i.e. Deaf Space.) We recently came across this fascinating blog post by Ian Ford, who lays out some of the guiding principles he believes are necessary for “autistic space.”

Ford talks about 5 levels of accessibility, movement/ getting there, sense/ being there, architecture/orienting oneself, communication and agency/autonomy. Ford argues that the Americans with Disabilities act deals primarily with the first level of movement, being able to physically access all necessary parts of a space.

The level of “sense/being there” requires a space that is free of loud noises, bright lights and bold patterns and textures which can create sensory overload and hinder someone’s ability to “be there” in the space comfortably. Ford also discusses some of the ways that architectural spaces can be designed to support “orientation,” even without requiring users to read written language. “Communication” features can help users understand and make themselves understood in a space, and may include descriptions that explain how to use that space. “Agency and autonomy” can be supported by service and programming considerations. The blog post is worth a read. What do you think, how often do we consider “deep accessibility” that goes further than issues of mobility and movement/getting there?

Related links

Deep Accessibility blog post on WordPress

The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards


The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards is a contest that promotes the development of apps designed specifically to improve the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. The program 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), an NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.