Recently I wrote about a plethora of products that cannot be used by people who have various disabilities. While I am sure there are some who might think this is simply the whining complaint of a few people, I hope there are also some who might wonder, “Well then, how indeed do we design products and services that can indeed be used by people who have disabilities?”
The answer to that is simple: ask people who have disabilities what works for them. That’s right, go directly to the source. Offer your designers and engineers the assistance of a team of people who have disabilities. Provide them with the firsthand knowledge this team has. Call them beta testers, call them a focus group or call them guinea pigs. But for heaven’s sake call them.
When you fail to consider who will use your products and services you fail to design well. That causes you to fail your company by excluding a significant share of the market.
Even in a recovering economy, do you really want to tell between 25 and 35 percent of the market, “We don’t want your business”?