The assumption that designing for everyone will cost more often goes unchallenged. Even economic arguments for business benefits rarely cut through because of this. If economic arguments for inclusion worked we wouldn’t still be talking abut it. A Centre for Inclusive Design report analyses inclusive business practice and covers some areas not covered before. The report analyses education, retail and financial services and argues inclusive design can drive financial, economic and social improvements. PwC was commissioned for the report, The Benefit of Designing for Everyone.
Jeremy Thorpe from PwC says, “Inclusive design is a no-regrets process that creates significant benefits which are currently being left on the table. It is an overlooked step in maximising the potential of Australian business and ensuring a more productive Australia.” There is also an infographic with the key information, and a summary report and a Word version.
The report analyses three key industries in Australia: education, retail and financial services. Each one can benefit from taking a universal design approach to improve their bottom line.
David Masters, Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft Australia, said,
“Accessibility is often focused on compliance, and while that is incredibly important, this report clearly shows that inclusion drives economic benefit too. Embedding inclusion in the upfront design phase ensures organisations are delivering products and services for everyone. Inclusive design is driving innovation at Microsoft and is a concept that all organisations should be embracing.”
It is good to see more work being done on the economics of inclusion. However, such arguments over the last ten years have yet to make their mark. The inclusive tourism industry is testament to that as well as the housing industry. Let’s hope someone is listening and willing to act.