person holding a handrail

How To Change Design Exclusion: A Guide To Inclusive Design

A short while ago I was researching for a project where I was designing an inclusive saucepan. After observing my mum, who is a wheelchair user, struggling to use saucepans ...
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3 ATM machines at different heights

A Seven-Foot-Tall Designer Re-imagines Public Space

Wouter Corvers envisions street infrastructure created for people of all shapes and sizes ...
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New Rio 2016 medals said to be the most sustainable prise awarded at an Olympics.Reuters

New sensory Paralympic medals created for Rio 2016 for visually impaired athletes

A built-in rattle is the surprise addition to the brand new 2016 Paralympic medals. When shaken, each medal has a slightly different metallic sound; with gold having the loudest, down ...
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man in wheelchair

How Apple Made The Watch Work For Wheelchair Users

In America alone, there are more than 2.2 million people who depend upon wheelchairs to get around every day. But most wheelchair users aren't active. They're more sedentary, on average, ...
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close up of man wearing samsung swimsuit blind cap

Samsung presents the ‘Blind Cap’ for Paralympic swimmers

Samsung have teamed up with Cheil Spain to create the first swim cap that automatically alerts blind swimmers to turn around or arrive at the finish line via Bluetooth technology ...
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braille bricks


A toy building brick can be whatever you imagine it to be, or even something you've never imagined. Braille Bricks is an experiment that transforms these bricks into a tool ...
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woman using an ergonomically designed crutch

Crutches are finally getting a redesign after 150 years

Anyone who had to use crutches know how painful they can be. This is an inconvenience to every crutch user, but presents serious problems to long-term and permanent users. A ...
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SignAloud gloves

These Gloves Can Convert Sign Language Into Spoken Word

University of Washington sophomores Thomas Pryor and Navid Azodi demonstrate their "SignAloud" glove, which converts American Sign Language into written and spoken text. The invention won a 2016 Lemelson-MIT Student ...
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model m mobility device

Whill receives FDA approval for the Model M, its new mobility device

Japanese startup Whill’s Model M, a motorized wheelchair alternative, has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. This means that the Model M can now be ...
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underside of path feel insoles

Smart Shoes Help the Elderly and Disabled Walk

New high-tech shoes and insoles have been developed that can help elderly, ill and disabled people walk without fear of falling over. Unveiled at the Wearable Technology Show in London ...
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woman putting baby carrier into back seat of car

Include or lose: Design for the whole market

Ever had trouble shaking ketchup out of a glass bottle? Now imagine struggling to unscrew the lid of a marmalade jar every breakfast time because you don’t have the strength ...
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3d model of toyota's device for the blind

Toyota Introduces Wearable Device For The Blind

Toyota is exploring its catchphrase, “Let’s Go Places,” from an unexpected angle. The Japanese automaker has developed a wearable device aimed at assist the blind and visually impaired. It’s a ...
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close up of robot hand and human hand shaking hands

Smart Robots Make Strides, but There’s No Need to Flee Just Yet

It may not strike everyone as the loftiest ambition: creating machines that are smarter than people. Not setting the bar terribly high, is it? So the more cynical might say ...
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holly cohen delivering her ted talk

Holly Cohen’s TED Talk: Occupational Therapists as Hackers and Makers in Accessible Design

Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg were in the audience as an occupational therapist talked about accessible design. The forum was TED2016, where Holly A. Cohen, OTR/L, ATP, SCEM, CDRS, program ...
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children with disabilities wearing tommy hilfiger clothing in a clothing advertisement

Tommy Hilfiger Launches Adaptive Collection for Children With Disabilities

Now, children of all abilities can wear Tommy Hilfiger clothing. A nonprofit organization called Runway of Dreams worked with the brand to launch an adaptive version of select styles from its children’s line, which will ...
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a series of poster panels with graphics related to disability

The Neglect of Disabled Representation in Advertising and Graphic Design

Though policies have helped in many ways there is still a visual disparity when it comes to the representation of the disabled in the industry of graphic design. This paper ...
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exterior view of rite aid store

Rite Aid Now Offers Talking Prescription Labels

Rite Aid announced today the nationwide availability of talking prescription devices to assist customers with visual impairments. The device will be provided at no cost to customers who are blind ...
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dolls with disabilities

Mum Of Autistic Boys Creates Dolls That Seek To Encourage Acceptance Of Disabilities

A mother of two autistic boys has created empowering dolls to encourage acceptance of children with disabilities. Maria Kentley, from Melbourne, Australia, started the Hope Toys line last year in ...
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people with disabilities wearing technology that creates music with the power of their minds

Disabled musicians create music from brainwaves

Four members of a Paramusical Ensemble, who are unable to talk or move, are using ground-breaking technology to create music with the power of their minds. The University of Plymouth ...
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woman pushing shopping carts with children in shopping aisle

Shopping cart invented by Alabama mom going nationwide in Target stores

Caroline's Cart, the shopping cart for special needs children created by Alabaster mom Drew Ann Long, will soon be found in Target stores nationwide. The retail giant has been testing the ...
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interior rendering of polling station

How Polling Station Design Could Influence Elections

Poorly designed polling stations could discourage some people from voting. Time to adopt a universal design standard. Today, an estimated half a million people in New Hampshire will go to the ...
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lego figure of a hat-wearing boy in a wheelchair

Lego unveils its first disabled figure

The Danish toymaker has unveiled its first ever disabled minifigure on Thursday. The figure of a hat-wearing boy in a wheelchair was first spotted at the Nuremberg international toy fair ...
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A new tuk-tuk prototype features a ramp for wheelchair accessibility

Wheelchair accessible tuk-tuk debuts

The maker of a new tuk-tuk prototype retrofitted with a wheelchair ramp hopes to usher in a new era of wheelchair-friendly travel in Phnom Penh. Ian Jones, a consultant for ...
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Elyse Wright, 3, holding her lamb Weesie Pal. Like her, it sports a bone-anchored hearing aid commonly used for microtia. (Courtesy Erin Wozniak)

Want Toys With More Diverse Abilities? There’s #ToyLikeMe For That

Last year, journalist and creativity consultant Rebecca Atkinson noticed a striking absence of disabled characters within her kids’ massive toy collection, so she did a little digging; she discovered that, outside of the ...
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close up image of wheelblades on a wheelchair in an outdoor setting


Manual wheelchair drivers often experience reduced mobility in winter snow and slush; Wheelblades address this problem.  Wheelblades are small skiis that attach to the front wheels of a manual wheelchair ...
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close up image of braille on tablet screen

Pneumatic tech could bring affordable full-page braille tablets to reality

Suppose you had a tablet that only displayed one line of text at a time. It would be pretty frustrating, but it's a limitation that blind users of braille-displaying devices ...
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product design incorporating fragrance

New Food Scented Fragrance May Remind People with Dementia to Eat

The sense of smell is closely tied to memory, a fact that designers made use of when they developed Ode, a fragrance disperser designed to help people with dementia remember ...
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tableware with bright colors and various shapes

Tableware designed for Alzheimer’s patients

No one ever wants to see loved ones suffer in their later years. Not everyone takes the time to do something about it. For Sha Yao, watching her late grandmother's ...
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woman sitting leisurely inside autonomous vehicle

Year in Review: The Coming Age of Automobility and What it Means for Designers

This year has seen steady movement towards a new age of automobility. Headlines celebrated the introduction of Tesla's Autopilot system. We experienced the first widespread vehicle recall due to hacking ...
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Three of 2015's most intriguing assistive technology breakthroughs – the Apple Watch, 6dot Braille Label Maker and Amazon Echo

2015’s most intriguing innovations

Emerging technologies offer new opportunities to address challenges for all people, including people with blindness and other disabilities. In 2015, interesting technology trends included wearables, voice recognition, smart devices, drones, ...
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A group of engineering students work on a wheelchair-based painting mechanism during the Fit-IN conference

Students, People with Different Abilities Collaborate on Adaptive Design Solutions

Eyeglasses can be colorful, elegant and make a fashion statement. They become an extension of a person and reflect the wearer’s personality. Viewed over time, they blend in ...
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wearable technologies on different parts of the body

How wearable technologies can change the lives of people with disabilities

Wearable technology is not a new idea; for example, people have been wearing hearing aids for decades. Technological advancement in the use of sensors, cameras and algorithms are facilitating more ...
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man with artificial knee

This Life-Changing, Low-Cost Artificial Knee Is On The Market After Years Of Design

The ReMotion Knee lets people in the developing world share some of our advanced prosthetic technology, but at a price you can afford if you make $4 a day ...
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woman interacting with a drone

As Aging Population Grows, So Do Robotic Health Aides

The University of Illinois roboticist recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the idea of designing small autonomous drones to perform simple household chores, ...
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A boy tries to shoot a basket designed to be wheelchair-friendly at the "2015 Universal Design Expo" which opened at the Dongdagemun Design Plaza

Seoul Design Week features minority-friendly design expo

Seoul Design Week, which opened at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and COEX, Wednesday, features a large expo of minority-friendly designs, among other design exhibitions and festivities. The "2015 Universal ...
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adjustable bathroom

Adjustable Bathroom Equipment at Newbridge on the Charles

This brief video features a revolutionary style of adjustable bathroom equipment installed at Newbridge on the Charles, a 268 bed Continuing Care Retirement Community in Massachusetts. Sinks and other components ...
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rendering of a smart watch with wrist band and sliver case

A New Smartwatch That Detects Seizures and Emotional Stress

Like many health conscious Americans, Dr. Rosalind Picard wears a fitness tracker on her wrist. But hers doesn’t just track steps, it has an extra sensor that gathers medical information ...
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Julia sesame street's first character with autism

For ‘Sesame Street,’ Character On The Spectrum Years In The Making

Meet Julia. As you might have heard, she’s Sesame Street’s newest muppet. She has bright orange hair, big green eyes and sometimes takes a long time to answer questions. She’s has ...
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people in baby incubator room

Empathy in Product Design: Connecting Human-Centered Design & Engineering

Line//Shape//Space shares the experiences of many designers and engineers to illustrate the growing recognition of the importance of compassion in product design.  Timothy Prestero, CEO of Design that Matters, explains ...
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close up of a man's left ear with wearable device

Wearable device for blind individuals developed by Toyota

Toyota made clear that the device will help "help fill the gaps left by canes, dogs and basic GPS devices by providing users with more information about their surroundings" and ...
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baby on floor

Expanding Access to Assistive Technology

Assistive technology professionals that work in the field, including rehabilitation engineers, therapists and others, have noticed a growing number of people who do not consider themselves as having a disability ...
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google glass

Stanford researchers using Google Glass to help children with autism

Google Glass’ software learns to identify people’s faces and their emotional expressions — what project founder Catalin Voss calls “action units” —  and then classifies them with specific words. This ...
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screenshot of video. mary hood and elderly woman. mary hood is holding smart cane


Mary Hood was worried that her 85-year-old grandmother, who walks with a cane, could fall and get hurt. So she developed a smart cane that vibrates in its users' hands ...
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iphone and google glass on table

Shepherd Center Tests Wearable Technologies to Help with Memory Problems and Stress Reduction

There’s no doubt that wearable technologies, such as smartglasses and smartwatches, are cool. But can they be useful to people with serious medical challenges, such as acquired brain injury or ...
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UB IDeA Center receives $4.6 million federal grant

The University at Buffalo’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) has received a fourth round of federal funding to continue its work on a wide range of ...
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the word disabled

Viewpoint: Is it time to stop using the word “disability”?

After running a campaign to urge toy manufacturers to include disabled characters in their collections, Rebecca Atkinson started to wonder if the word "disability" might also need a positive makeover ...
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silverware for people with dementia by eatwell

Silverware For People With Dementia By Eatwell Is Tailor Made For Impairments Caused By The Disease

Although many people associate dementia primarily with memory loss, those who have lost loved ones to the condition know that dementia can transform everyday tasks into major hurdles. Inspired by ...
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Students create accessible designs for disabled people at MIT's OpenStyleLab in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Fashion-able: Innovators tackle clothing challenges for people with disabilities

"Your clothing vocabulary shouldn't be limited just because you have a certain physical condition." That is the mantra that Grace Teo and Alice Tin choose to live by after creating ...
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closeup of a collection of clothing for people who use wheelchairs being modeled

From Canes To Closures, Designing With Style For People With Disabilities

Think of all the accessibility amenities you've gotten used to seeing since July 26, 1990, the day the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law: Wheelchair ramps leading into ...
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smart watch

Smartwatches and apps can make life easier for children with autism or ADHD

Researchers believe that children with autism or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can benefit from technologies originally developed for older people. Welfare technology has long been associated with helping older people ...
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To appeal to baby boomers, make sure your product selections reflect universal, not institutional, design principles

Style is often the first consideration when it comes to selecting fixtures for the bathroom, but for the aging-in-place population, safety and convenience are also critical concerns. Fortunately, a renewed ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus