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Industry Perceptions to Inclusive Design: A Comparative Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Hua Dong, P. John Clarkson

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Simeon Keates

IBM TH Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY

Paper No. DETC2004-57614, pp. 553-562; 10 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3b: 2nd Symposium on International Issues in Engineering Design
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Despite increasing discussions on the topic in academia, truly inclusive design in industry remains the exception. This paper compares industry perceptions to inclusive design based on data collected from the UK, the US and Japan. Two comparisons are made. Firstly, the perceptions of UK consumer product manufacturers and retailers are compared with the perceptions of companies in the US and Japan. It appears that the attitudes to legislation and government regulations in the UK differ from those in the US and Japan. Secondly, comparisons are made between the perceptions of UK consumer industries. It was found that manufacturers, retailers and design consultancies all consider that major barrier obstructing their adoption of inclusive design were from the other parties, rather than themselves. The paper concludes that ‘perception barriers’ form the majority of the barriers to inclusive design and are the most significant, followed by ‘technical barriers’ and then ‘organizational barriers.’ A toolkit that has been developed to address the barriers identified is also presented.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Design



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