Teaching Inclusive Design



Design Education Strategy


  • vulnerable groups


South Africa has one of the most forward thinking Constitutions in the world. Few countries have been able to define and legislate for equality in such an all-encompassing way. It is a challenge for design educators who must be aware of the likely future implications for design students, and who need to question their own views and current practice.

Designing for Disability has long been a specialism for a minority group. However, international trends are redefining it as a mainstream, user-lead concept. There is great potential for South African designers to embrace the meaning of equality for disabled people within the Constitution and use it to guide design practice.

This paper will examine:

  • How we in South Africa can rethink and redefine disability, taking into account international developments, the situation in South Africa and the meaning of the Constitution.
  • How we understand barriers that disabled people, and people disabled by design, encounter when trying to participate as equal citizens.
  • The ways in which design educators can move from teaching ‘designing for the disabled’ as a specialist topic.

DEFSA conferences

DEFSA promotes relevant research with the focus on design + education through its biennial conferences, to promote professionalism, accountability and ethics in the education of young designers. Our next conference is a hybrid event. See above for details.

Critical skills endorsement

Professional Members in good standing can receive a certificate of membership, but DEFSA cannot provide confirmation or endorsement of skills whatsoever. DEFSA only confirm membership of DEFSA which is a NPO for Design Education in South Africa (https://www.defsa.org.za/imagine).