The terms inclusive design and assistive tech are often used interchangeably. However, although these two terms may be related in their nature, they mean different things.
Inclusive design refers to the design process applied to products and services optimized for a specific user with specific needs.
The inclusive design approach was developed by an American architect, Roger Coleman. His ideas are based on designing the environment in a way that will be accessible to many people.
Our surroundings, our environment, and the products available to us in the free market are primarily designed for average healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who exhibit 100% physical function. As a result, most of our surroundings are not accessible to those who face physical challenges.
An inclusive design approach modifies the environment and adjusts to the way those who are disabled interact with their surroundings and the outside world. The only way to make services and products accessible to more diverse populations in society is by adapting methods of design with equal access in mind.
Examples of Inclusive Design Mindset:
Air Zoom UNVRS With New FlyEase Technology | Nike
Tissot Silen-T Watch
Tissot offers a stylish watch that provides time through silent vibration. Thus, not giving up on the importance of fashion and appearance, this watch is suited also for the visually impaired population and many disability problems like the deaf and hard of hearing community.
More than 20 million Americans with disabilities can assert and maintain their independence by using assistive tech to complete everyday activities.
Assistive Tech is a field of technological development that offers practical support for people with different needs. The assistive tech line of products targets the activities of daily living and aims to improve the overall ability to function successfully in everyday pursuits.
Walking canes, wheelchairs, prosthetics, and robotic exoskeletons that allow a paraplegic individual to walk are just a few examples of low-tech and hi-tech assistive tech products.
With the intent to address both the physical and mental abilities of the user, most products focus on both the medical and the psychological aspects of the user’s needs, and many of them are custom made.
Example of assistive tech products:
Today, it is ideal to combine both approaches (inclusive design and assistive tech) to maximize both the physical and mental benefits available to us through this array of services and products.