Colette is an MTech in Design graduate from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), with specialisation in Universal Design. After her BTech degree, where both her theses had a Universal Design approach, she managed the design and production processes for an NGO which created business opportunities for people with disabilities in Cape Town. In 2009 she left the NGO sector to freelance in the field of Universal Access (UA) and later completing her MTech in the same field. From 2009 to 2015 she gained expert experience in various aspects of Universal Design, under the auspices of Phillip Thompson. In 2015, Colette started UD Africa, a company focused on the mainstreaming of Universal Design and Universal Access, with two business partners, Phillip Thompson and Prof. Mugendi M’Rithaa. In 2018, she started Inclusive Design independently, which maintains the importance of social integration and diversity of people. Her work areas of proficiency related to Universal Design/Access include research, legislative assistance and guidelines, technical frameworks, onsite access auditing, plan reviews, training and training material development.
Colette’s expertise in Universal Design range from the built environment, information dissemination and communication, transport and Non-Motorised Transport (NMT), and she is passionate about research, teaching and knowledge sharing on the paradigm of Human Centred Design. Since 2015, Colette has been selected at the Country Representative for GAATES (Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments) which is a leading international organization dedicated to the promotion of accessibility of the built and virtual environments. In 2018 she was among the first of international applicants to receive the highest echelon of accreditation, Level 3 Advanced Accessibility Consultant for the International Certification of Accessibility Consultants - Built Environment (ICAC-BE) Program (ICAC-BE Number 03-003-18) by having “a very strong knowledge of accessibility codes and ability to reference them”, “additionally, the passion and commitment showed towards applying this knowledge and recognizing the gaps in relevant standards is exemplary” (GAATES, Program Director: Tracey Shipman).
Colette also currently serves as a SABS Working Group member for TC 0060, who are responsible for the review of Part S: 10400 (2011) as part of the National Building Regulations, and specifically deals with Facilities for Persons with Disabilities. She is also a welcomed annual guest lecturer on UA at the University of Cape Town (UCT) for the Disability Studies Programme (MDIS) and is a founding member and Board Member of the AAAP (African Association of Access Professionals) which is based in South Africa. Since 2016 she is also a certified Design Thinking Coach and is affiliated with the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking’s D-School, as part of the Graduate School of Business (GSB) at UCT.
In August 2016, during a sabbatical year, after a long career in corporate farming and management, Igor self-renovated and adapted his new family home to accommodate his daughter with spinal paraplegia. During this process he became acutely aware of the many barriers of and ignorance to accessibility for people with different human needs and recognized the opportunity to qualify himself in the field of universal access, in order to start becoming directly involved in affecting positive change in this sphere.
One year later, in August 2017, he attended a workshop on Universal Access, presented by Colette Fransolet and Phillip Thomson. Shortly after, his passion to break down the barriers to access, inspired him to pursue to a new career in Universal Access Consulting. In July 2018 he completed a course in Universal Design & Public Transportation via Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access at the Buffalo University (New York) and enrolled at the Access Institute in Melbourne, Australia, doing a National Diploma course in Access Consulting.
At present Igor is working in the field of Universal Access with an interest in the built environment and transport at Inclusive Design, whilst completing his studies.