Why inclusive design
Born out of the desire to change the status quo of the world we live in, and more specifically the norm of people with disabilities, Inclusive Design was established.
Colette Fransolet is a Subject Matter Expert in Universal Access and the Chief Consultant at Inclusive Design, making her expertise, experience and knowledge available to clients who are interested in improving their situations regarding Universal Access and the resulting environments, systems and processes for people with diverse human needs, including people with disabilities. There is a difference between advice and expertise, and if as business, organisation or authority you are looking to solve an important issue related to access for people with disabilities, an expert consultant who is able to solve the issues with you and who has a focus on skills transfer, is the ultimate outcome as the results will be long lasting, impactful and the solutions will be deliverable within your context.
With a master’s degree in design with a specialisation in Universal Design, Colette’s working career started in the NGO sector and she quickly moved into the consulting space. Her working experience in Universal Access and Universal Design Consulting started in 2009 and included working in partnership with Phillip Thompson and Prof. Mugendi M’Rithaa. In 2018, she started an independent company, Inclusive Design, which facilitates the development of environments, services and facilities to be inclusive to all people, with a focus on people with disabilities. Her work areas of proficiency related to Universal Design include research, legislative assistance and guidelines, implementation plans, onsite access auditing, plan reviews, training and training material development and specialist consulting. Her client list also includes transport services and facilities, tourism, national and local government departments, universities, heritage and historical sites, museums and cultural places, as well as working with large consulting and engineering companies, private and business sectors, amongst others. As part of the transport sector in South Africa, in which Colette also works extensively is through assisting local authorities with Integrated Public Transport Networks to achieve Universal Access throughout the travel chain, including operations, marketing and communication, customer care, vehicles, transit orientated development, fare management, skills transfer, passenger information and wayfinding.
Colette’s expertise in Universal Design range from the built environment and infrastructure, information dissemination and communication and transport. She is passionate about research, teaching and knowledge sharing on the paradigm of Universal Access. Since 2015, Colette has been the South African Representative for GAATES (Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments), now in conjunction with G3ict (Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs) which are the leading international organizations dedicated to the promotion of inclusivity in both the built and virtual environments. Colette 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) for having “a very strong knowledge of accessibility codes” (GAATES, Program Director: Tracey Shipman (2018)). Colette was subsequently invited to be a member of the Expert Panel to evaluate and grade applicants of the International Certification of Accessibility Consultants for the Built Environment (ICAC-BE) Program, along with other international experts in Universal Access. As of February 2020, Colette has been requested to join as a board member for GUDC (Global Universal Design Commission), who are a not-for-profit corporation, which was established to develop global Universal Design standards for buildings, products and services. Along with Marnie Peters and Bob Topping (Canada and North America based), Colette was part of a team who assisted with the development a Universal Access Report and Action Plan for the Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch (SPIB) at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), in Canada.
Colette also currently serves as a SABS (South African Bureau of Standards) Working Group member for TC 0060, who are responsible for the review of Part S: 10400 (2011) Facilities for Persons with Disabilities, as part of the National Building Regulations. She is also a welcomed annual guest lecturer on Universal Access at the University of Cape Town (UCT) for the Disability Studies Programme (MDIS), is a regular guest lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), and is a founding member and Acting CEO of the AAAP (African Association of Access Professionals), founded in 2019, which is based in South Africa.