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Published: 2nd DECEMBER 2020

Only by challenging ourselves can we create more inclusive streets and places

This International Day of People with Disabilities our Inclusive Design Manager, Diogo Martins highlights that only by challenging ourselves can ߣߣƵ progress our vision to design and deliver a more equitable and inclusive society for disabled people.

We should be designing spaces that work for all and bring dignity and joy to everyone.

Our 2019 Cycling For Everyone report, conducted with ARUP, found that 31% of disabled people who do not cycle would like to start.

Disabled people can face deep-rooted barriers to their experience of, and interaction with, transport systems and travel.

However, cycling has the potential to play a crucial role in increasing independence and accessibility.

For everyone

ߣߣƵ' vision of 'for everyone' has set our goals to a higher level, where inclusion is fundamental to improving our work.

This means that we have to improve our approach and acknowledge that inclusion is a very wide concept which needs the input of many people and diverse voices.

We need to stop, look and listen to be truly inclusive

In road crossings, there is a rule which says: Stop, Look, Listen.

Decision-makers clearly need to stop excluding disabled people, those who have hidden conditions, and instead look to what we are doing now, and improve it.

Most importantly, however, we need to listen to people's needs and concerns.

We are more likely to achieve inclusion when we detach ourselves from current normal practice and work in a space which may not feel comfortable.

This is likely to bring up unexpected issues and challenges us to listen to, and better understand the needs of, those who often aren’t included.

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We are more likely to achieve inclusion when we detach ourselves from current normal practice and work in a space which may not feel comfortable. Blockquote quotation marks

Improving public spaces

Usually, inclusion is seen as something about people in wheelchairs and one or another protected characteristic, but it is much more complex than this.

We should be designing spaces that work for all and bring dignity and joy to everyone.

We want to hear the voices of people who feel that spaces are still not designed for them.

With this in mind, we want to improve the way we design these spaces and deliver new solutions to make them truly inclusive.

We also recognise that the built environment is only one factor among many that can discourage active travel.

And inclusive design must consider all barriers people may face, visible or not.

Mum and child cycling through park on an adapted trailer bike

We want to improve the way we design spaces and deliver new solutions to make them truly inclusive.

Inclusive design

My role as Inclusive Design Manager is a new role at ߣߣƵ that will help to improve the way we engage with people and develop liveable cities and towns for everyone.

We want to embed inclusivity into all of ߣߣƵ’ work and ensure all our projects have equality and equity at its heart.

Inclusive design must not be a separate issue or topic but embedded in all the work that we do, to fully realise our 'for everyone vision.

One of the main objectives of my role is to develop an action plan that will further embed inclusive design into ߣߣƵ’ work at all levels.

This will define key strategic points that we are going to identify through engaging with ߣߣƵ’ partner organisations, local authorities, communities and our wider teams.

Creating liveable neighbourhoods

We want more liveable places, made for everyone and enjoyed by everyone.

Only by working together with organisations, local authorities and communities, can we challenge ourselves to improve the way we work and make more inclusive, equitable places.

Read more about inclusive cycling in our Cycling for Everyone guide.

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