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BT launches the inclusive design toolkit


BT is launching a new online Inclusive Design Toolkit today, at this year’s annual New Designers event at the Business Design Centre, in Islington. The event is aiming to encourage the design community to develop products and services which are accessible by everyone, irrespective of age, ability or circumstance.

The Inclusive Design Toolkit has been developed to support designers and those involved in product development, as well as providing a general guide to inclusive design for businesses.

The website was commissioned by BT and developed by Sagentia, a lead member of the CITD (Centre for Inclusive Technology and Design), in conjunction with iDesign. It took three years to complete and provides a comprehensive guide to the principles and commercial implications of inclusive design.

Steve Andrews, BT’s inclusive design champion, said: “Disabled people want to take advantage of new communication technologies just like anyone else and with 10 million disabled people in the UK at present, a figure which will increase as the population ages, this is an audience which must not be forgotten. We are proud of the products and services BT has developed to-date, however we know that there is more to do so we have spent the past three years working with Sagentia to develop this toolkit"

BT commissioned the Inclusive Design Toolkit as part of its ongoing commitment to creating a more socially inclusive society and forms part of BT’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme.

BT has a reputation for developing products which can be used by all of its customers, regardless of age or ability and has developed inclusively designed products and services for a number of years. These include the Converse range, aimed at both business, deaf and hard of hearing customers, introduced in 1992 and the BT Big Button range, introduced in 1998. BT has also provided bills to customers through alternative media, such as Braille and large print for over 15 years and in May 2007 BT Sign was launched, providing information about products and services in British Sign Language.

As part of the launch, BT also announced a competition calling for the submission of designs based on the elements taught in the toolkit, for the chance to win £2,000. For further information log onto

BT is also giving away an inclusively designed prize to one lucky winner who logs onto the website before August 31, 2007.

Mike Rodd, British Computer Society , said: “Inclusive design is often talked about but rarely put into practice. This toolkit clearly demonstrates how these concepts can fit into the design cycle. Inclusive design needs to be seen as a route to better design rather than an afterthought or add-on to the process. We would like to see this become mainstream practice very quickly.” Mike Rodd, Director of Learned Society and External Relations, British Computer Society


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