Topic: Comparing the core concepts

  • The conversation was based on the ideas presented in an excellent paper by Persson, Alman, Yngling and Gulliksen: "Universal design, inclusive design, accessible design, design for all: different concepts - one goal? On the concept of accessibillity - historical, methodological and philosophical aspects" (Universal Access in Information Society, v. 14 (2005), pp. 505-526)
  • Different concepts were prevalent in different area at different times - for example, no barriers design as a reaction to the Vietnam vets returning to the US; or cooperative design as a modern Scandinavian idea to include all parties using the product in deciding how to build the product with everyone's needs in mind.
  • Many of the people in the room were finding the universal design concept to be most meaningful; we had a long conversation about the reasons for that preference.
  • We also discussed how the most attractive approaches like inclusive or cooperative design require a focus on cooperation and inclusion from the very very beginning; impossible to apply these principles if this conversation only starts when the product design and coding is complete.

A couple of other things

  • The concepts discussion was very rich and took nearly the whole hour, so we didn't have much discussion on other topics this time.
  • We continue looking for new ideas for future topics and all other feedback about how to make this format work better for you - please send your ideas to
  • We continue to have slow growth - 17 participants this time, the most yet. The forum continues to be large enough to sustain a conversation and small enough to let everyone speak. Thank you everyone for your participation so far!