Inclusive/Universal design is about ensuring that mainstream products, services and environments are accessible to the largest possible number of people. In that respect, understanding the human factors are key.
Our population is getting older. Predictions are that potentially over 50% of the population in 2020 will be over 50, with people over 80 an increasing group. The ‘silver surfer’ generation is here already and is set to get larger. The spending power of the over 50s in the United Kingdom is £250bn.
Recent data from the UK shows that 8.5million people in Great Britain have reduced overall capabilities. As we get older our capabilities decline.
Inclusive design increases the competitiveness of industry and can help a large proportion of people to live independently by using inclusively designed products and services.
Increasingly regulations are making it law to design for end users, e.g. in the UK, The Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Requirements for access to and into buildings and the use of buildings are with us.