It is an open secret when writing reports for research or consultancy that the most crucial part is the executive summary. In any project, at some point, it will be agreed that most of the audience will only ever read the executive summary. Research reports are long, complex and time-consuming, and as a result, the most critical information is often lost or hard to follow.

Whilst working on detailed research deliverables to the TRIPS project, based upon the co-design of innovative transport concepts for people with a disability, it was evident that most of our audience would never read the…

Photo licensed by Envato

Not all problems require big ideas to solve. Here are five innovations imagined by people with a disability that would reduce barriers to travel. Some build upon new technology whilst others take existing ideas and add an inclusive twist.

The most popular solution that people with a disability call for is an accessible and inclusive Travel planner. Often they find that information about a journey is held in multiple locations, some with a bus company, some with the city and some with NGO’s. Transport is a single process, and there is a strong sense that planning technologies should reflect the…

Licenced from envato elements

There are many barriers to travel experienced by people with a disability. In a recent workshop for the TRIPS project ( to investigate solutions to obstacles, we could explore those in detail. People with a disability discussed their experience as a precursor to exploring solutions for the future.

Some of the barriers occurred across multiple locations, and it can be helpful to group these together to understand them a little better. Many barriers were related to “ public awareness and assistance, “ including “culture and attitudes”. Other barriers referred to “ infrastructure “, which included very definite issues such as…

Two people working together at a desk, one is using a wheelchair
Two people working together at a desk, one is using a wheelchair

Co-design is a process by which groups of people with different experiences and perspectives work collectively and collaboratively to produce ideas, concepts, and designs to address a challenge. For people with a disability, it helps to move them from being ignored, or at best consulted to review designs to being engaged in the design process from start to finish. By engaging people with a diversity of needs, we plan to develop more inclusive concepts and which work for the broadest number of people.

In the TRIPS project (, we seek to create innovative design concepts to support mobility and transport…

By mrdoomits

During the Zero Project Conference 2021, a roundtable discussion was organised to examine how mobile technologies provide workplace accommodations for people with disabilities and what emerging technologies such as AI, wearables, the Internet of Things, and Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality will contribute in the future. Mobile technology solutions today in the workplace

Digital technologies and, particularly, mobile phones have transformed the workplace and reshaped our understanding of work and how we do it. Recent developments, including the global pandemic, have accelerated the push towards digitisation. …

DATEurope Logo
DATEurope Logo

Posted on March 01, 2021

The recently formed association for Digital Assistive Technology across Europe ( DATEurope) recognizes the need for a coherent voice for European stakeholders. In many countries, there has been no mechanism by which the industry collectively is represented. While there are effective and valued organizations for other forms of assistive technology (AT) and provision, they do not always find it easy to encompass digital solutions’ needs and outlooks. …

Photo licenced by envato elements

As the world moves into the second year of Covid-19, video calls have become central to much of our lives. Whether Zoom, Teams, FaceTime, Meet or some alternate platform. The limitations of those platforms are becoming apparent. A lack of ability to customise the “room” to reflect the topic or members and the drab uniformity of design base don square boxes with talking heads for session after session. For many, this contributes to a lack of attention or motivation to fully participate after so many months. Addressing this is crucial to any concept of “new normal” and is both a…

Hand holding a phone with Spotify logo onscreen
Hand holding a phone with Spotify logo onscreen
By twenty20photos

Much of my life and career has focussed on access and inclusion and working towards a society where people with a disability would see their rights realised. So at first glance, my love of Spotify would appear to have little to do with my work. But, I have to admit that music was my first love and I have around 4000 records, tapes and CD’s sitting in my cellar. I have an original iPod classic with 160gb of mp3 available to me, but I have fallen in love with someone I shouldn’t have — Spotify.

But relationships are complicated, and…

Image of Thomas the tank engine toy on minature railway
Image of Thomas the tank engine toy on minature railway

Why Assistive Technology is only part of what people with a disability need for access.

If you are a regular reader of features, articles and rants on Medium, you probably believe that words matter. But the words assistive technology are not always well understood, and usually refer to products design specifically for people with a disability. But even if you are not designing products solely for people with a disability, there is a great deal that you can be doing to promote access and inclusion.

Accessible design/Universal Design

These concepts are vital if you want your product or service to reach as large a market as possible. Fundamentally, universal design provides a framework by which you can seek…

Recognizing the needs of disabled people can open new markets for designers

Metal jigsaw puzzle with interlocking pieces
Metal jigsaw puzzle with interlocking pieces
By ozaiachin from Envato Elements

When we think of developing products and services for people with a disability, one of the biggest myths is that innovation is always based on a big idea. Big ideas are essential, as you can’t take small steps across a chasm. Still, insight and creativity that links and applies concepts to real-world problems can bring significant benefits making a product far more accessible than initially intended. In many respects, this lies at the heart of empathetic innovation.

Imagining products as assistive

Rethinking products as solutions that can address specific needs often happens as we use products and are immersed in thinking about users’ needs…

David Banes

David Banes is an accessible and assistive technology evangelist with a special interest in disruptive innovation and filling the gap from policy to practice

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