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What if Lab: Unhindered participation

Happy shopping for everyone

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The Netherlands has about two million people with a visible or invisible disability. They often experience barriers when shopping physically or online. Five design studios developed practical applications, together with users and partners from the retail sector.

How can we ensure that our customers shop safely, efficiently and pleasantly? Quite a task for retailers in times of corona. But even without corona they should ask themselves this question. Because shops are by no means always accessible to people with a physical, visual, auditory or other disability.
This applies to the supermarket, the bakery and the clothing store, but just as much to online stores. Despite good examples, there is still a lot to be done to make stores truly "inclusive".

Commissioned by the broader program "Unhindered participation!" of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS), Dutch Design Foundation has set up a What if Lab on this theme. Five design studios - Alissa Rees, Dogger Concepts, Ink, Studio Carbon en Studio Corvers - show concrete ideas for accessible stores that also offer a refreshing vision of an inclusive retail environment.

As featured in

Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS)

In 2016, the Netherlands ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As a follow-up in 2018, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) started the program Unhindered participation! Together with the business community, social organizations and people with disabilities themselves, concrete steps are being taken in areas such as work, transport, education and participation. In addition, attention is paid to awareness, mutual understanding and dialogue.