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Design for All Design Kaleidoscope - proposal for Design for All-based participatory design operations model

Sami Virtanen investigates in his thesis, what role the disabled and elderly users, that would benefit from accessibility solutions have in transaction design.

The purpose was to examine in which way design and control of society's efforts can strengthen the inclusion of accessibility principles in their work. At the same time this study looks at what sort of conditions, based on the material, is required for the implementation of the Design for All -based participatory planning approach. The objective is to get subscribers/suppliers, designers, organisations and decision makers aware of the accessibility principle and its opportunities. The proposed inclusion of a Design for All -model is based on the findings of the study.

The representation of people with disabilities and elderly of various transaction design is yet not established, i.e. mainstreamed into all planning activity. An inclusion of accessibility and The Design for All principle in the design forms one supporting mechanism for the suggested planning method. Design for All principles connecting inclusion issues will play a key role. Active interaction with decision-makers, designers and end-users does currently not reach the necessary decision makers and therefore the need for new ways to open up the conversation is required.

Suggestions for a Design for All -based participatory planning approach are as follows: 1) ac-cessibility as part of innovation, 2) accessibility as a strategic tool, 3) users as partners in planning work, 4) forecasting information supporting know-how capital and 5) increasing the accessibility of knowledge acquisition. These proposals are the elements forming an accessibility-based knowledge management system.

The thesis is supposed to inspire to further discussion of accessibility and Design for All issues among operating professionals, designer, decision makers and other interested parties. The thesis was done in collaboration with the European IDeALL (Integrating Design for All in Living Labs) project.

You can read the thesis (in Finnish) at Theseus.

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