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Inclusivity Is Good Business: A New Report on Designing for Everyone

To mark the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we have published the Inclusive Experience Practice: Designing for Everyone report. This new report makes the case brands designing products and services, and marketing for and with people of all abilities leads to more innovative designs and competitive advantage. In addition, its release on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, May 21, 2020, calls attention to the fact that 1 billion people worldwide have disabilities and there are now legal requirements for all digital media to be accessible in many countries around the world.

We're also excited to share that two of our leaders were featured in the sessions at Microsoft's 10th Annual Ability Summit, which brings together panels to imagine, build, and empower the future of disability inclusion and accessibility. Christina Mallon, our Global Inclusive Design and Digital Accessibility Lead, was a panelist for 'Inclusion by Design: BUILD' and Taras Wayner, Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Thompson North America, joined Christina for the panel 'Telling Our Story - Authentic Representation of Disability on the Screen and Beyond: EMPOWER'.

You can watch Christina’s video here.

Download the Designing for Everyone Report

At times like this, we know we’re in it together. All of us, no matter our level of ability.

At Wunderman Thompson, we believe strongly in inclusivity which is why it’s our ambition for inclusive design to be our design methodology of choice because we believe it leads to growth for our clients. We are currently on a journey to operationalizing this throughout our company by starting discussions on this topic with our clients and providing learning opportunities for our employees. Inclusive design is the process of designing first for edge cases (people with disabilities), and then extending to everyone in order to create the most inclusive experience or product. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the best way to drive innovation.

In order to inspire growth for ambitious brands, we have to look beyond the conventional and see the world differently. This requires creative bravery. And a commitment to making sure that marginalized, underrepresented and unorthodox voices are heard.

Diversity, inclusivity, and the coming together of the world’s most eclectic minds can help us redefine creativity and reach breakthrough solutions.

A History of Creative Bravery

Inclusive design has long been synonymous with innovation. Many inventions that we all use today are the direct or indirect result of inclusive design, including:

  • Telephone
  • Typewriter
  • Touchscreen
  • Email keyboards
  • Flexible straws
  • Speech-to-text
  • Double drawer dishwashers (no, really)
  • Curb cuts
  • Eye-tracking
  • Automatic doors
  • Audiobooks
  • Close captioning
Legs Accessibility

Our Inclusive Experience Practice

Wunderman Thompson is the first agency to build an Inclusive Experience Practice. It is based on the three core principles of inclusive design: recognizing exclusion, learning from diversity, and solving for one and extending to many.

Recognize exclusion. Exclusion occurs when we use our own biases to solve problems. Inclusion requires us to consider the widest possible set of capabilities of people who might be using a product or service.

Learn from diversity. In designing for people with disabilities, we need to recognize that a key feature of their daily lives is adaption. As a result, we do not design for limitations but rather for people who can adapt to new situations. That way we can unlock the true potential of the design and the people it is intended to serve.

Solve for one, extend to many. Inclusive design focuses on what’s universally important to all humans. If you create a solution that works well for someone who cannot hear, you might be surprised to find out that it also increases productivity and improves the lives of people who can. A simple example might be a self-driving car. A self-driving car would enable a blind person to increase her mobility, but it would also likely be safer and more convenient for every human.

Download the Designing for Everyone Report

If you have any questions about inclusivity and its impact on organizations and your business, feel free to reach out to us.

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