Champions of universal design are often told that to effect change you need a good economic argument. Several such arguments have been written, but have met with little success in terms of gaining greater acceptance of universal design and inclusive practice. Shops, buses, buildings, hotels, meeting places, schools, parks, tourist destinations, and homes still remain inaccessible to many. The tourism sector has recognised that telling hotels and holiday businesses that they are missing out on a significant market is not sufficient of itself to make change. What is needed is more “How to…”. The latest publication discussing economics, is on the purchasing power of working age people with disability. It travels over familiar ground with the latest statistics, facts and figures relative to the United States. It compares the disposable income of people with and without disability and with different disabilities, and goes on to discuss the data from a marketing perspective.
The full title of the paper is, A Hidden Market: The Purchasing Power of Working-Age Adults with Disabilities, by Yin, Shaewitz, Overton & Smith. Published by the American Institutes for Research. You can download from Researchgate.
Note: The economics of universal design in housing by Smith, Rayer, Smith (2008) is an excellent example of economists applying their skills to a social problem. Nothing has changed yet.