“Good design is inclusive design. Design should always be judged by whether or not it achieves an inclusive environment. Design which does not do this is not good enough. Good design should reflect the diversity of people who use it and not impose barriers of any kind.” This article on Lumesse Learning.com (lumesselearning.com) explains the origins of good design, and the difference between accessibility and inclusive design.
Traditionally the term ‘accessibility’ means making special considerations for people with disabilities. The key to inclusive design is that from the very beginning we consider creating something that is easily accessible, useful and enjoyable for as many people as possible. Inclusive design doesn’t specifically target people with disabilities (unlike assistive devices).
U.S. watch design company Eone explains it this way: “While assistive devices fill in the gaps left by exclusionary design practices, inclusive design aims to evolve products beyond their conventional definitions, changing our standards for products. Assistive devices aim to remove a barrier for people with disabilities. Inclusive design strives to fundamentally redesign a product so that the barrier does not exist in the first place.”
To sum it up, “assistive technology is reactive. Inclusive design is proactive.”