The CEO of accessible design firm, Motionspot, has been named as one of the government’s new ‘disabled consumer champions’, in an initiative which is designed to encourage sectors, businesses and brands to better cater for disabled consumers.
Ed Warner has specifically been appointed as a sector champion for the ‘Design of Products and Spaces’ by minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, who launched the new initiative yesterday.
Using their industry influence, the five champions will aim to remove the obstacles faced by disabled consumers across sectors such as technology, countryside and heritage, products and spaces, brand and design and web accessibility sectors.
Warner – the new design champion – aims to involve greater numbers of disabled people in the design process to ensure products solve a specific need on evidence-based design principles.
As boss of Motionspot, he is an expert in designing stylish, accessible solutions for various sectors, and he intends to champion the engagement of more disabled people to work on the launch of new products.
Warner said: “I’m delighted to help represent disabled people in my role as sector champion for the ‘Design of Products and Spaces’.
“My vision is to encourage a culture of change across the industry, so products and spaces are better designed to suit the access needs, style preferences and budgets of disabled people.
“The ultimate goal is to create beautiful, accessible environments that are appealing and inclusively designed for everyone”.
Ms Newton said: “For too long businesses have been missing out on the spending power of disabled customers and their families – worth a staggering £249 billion a year.
“Sadly disabled people are often locked out from the everyday experiences many of us take for granted, whether that’s enjoying the great outdoors or benefitting from latest innovations in technology.
“Our new champions will fight for the rights of disabled consumers so they can spend their money where and when they want, just like everyone else.”
The new brand and design champion is Marianne Waite, founder and director of Think Designable and inclusive design consultant for Omnicom.
She commented: “Despite 90% of brands claiming to prioritise diversity and inclusion, only 4% consider the needs of disabled consumers.
“I want to help hardwire inclusive design into mainstream brand practice and encourage creative teams to invest in insight from disabled consumers to drive much needed innovation.
“It’s time for brands to wake up to the business, economic and social benefits of disability inclusion.”
Image credit: Motionspot