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Inclusive Design for a Complex Reality

taught by: Jutta Treviranus

Session Summary

We live in times of accelerating change with complex and unpredictable phenomena. Our accessibility and design processes need to adapt. How can accessibility practitioners proactively respond to this changing reality?


Find Inclusive Design for a Complex Reality on the Knowbility Learning Center

The fundamental tenet of inclusive design is: “diversity is our greatest asset; inclusion is our greatest challenge.” The most impactful innovation and the earliest detection of potential risks comes from including the breadth and depth of human diversity. The practice of inclusive design was developed to take advantage of the adaptability of digital systems to move from one-size-fits-all designs, to offering as broad a range of one-size-fits-one choices in an integrated system. Inclusive design sees human differences as necessary strengths, including individual differences in ability, language, culture, gender, age, and other forms of human difference. The practice sees lived experience of barriers as an essential expertise in the design process.


Inclusive design also recognizes that we live in a complex adaptive system in unpredictable, accelerating flux. The design of inclusive systems cannot be viewed in isolation, or for an isolated moment in time. The mindset and practice of inclusive design is applied to design policies, standards, guidelines, platforms, systems, environments and their constituent services and products. This workshop will introduce participants to the motivations and practices of the Canadian school of inclusive design.

Practical Skills

  • Understand the motivations of inclusive design.
  • Become familiar with basic practices of inclusive design.
  • Unlearn or question assumptions and conventions that are antithetical to human difference and inclusion.