"In my job, there are many moments of satisfaction, working for an organisation like RiDC."
Never more so than when I was taking part in an online meeting last month with representatives from 30 UK businesses and innovators. All of whom were pitching to design updated charge points for electric vehicles that would be fully accessible for disabled people."
"It made me realise how much had changed in the last four years since we noticed how many barriers there were with electric car charging and started bringing it to people's attention. First, in our conversations and research with Motability, and later connecting them with Designability to work on alternative accessible products.
"Now, with new standards being set by the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles this summer, the need to install inclusive charge-points is being loudly acknowledged.
"All this has only been possible because we involved disabled people in the conversation. How much better would it have been if they were asked at the very beginning of the design process though? It's as if, when electric cars and their charge-points were designed, everyone was looking the other way (towards how good they would be for the environment) and forgot that disabled people drive too!
"Our consumer panel of disabled people, who, through our research, gave us their thoughts, shared their experiences and tested the products in real life are the ones who opened everyone's eyes.
"Now, public infrastructure is changing because of them and the knowledge and insights they shared.
"It goes to show just how much can change and how important it is that we keep starting these conversations - connecting businesses, organisations and institutions directly to the disabled and older people who use these products and services."
— Gordon McCullough
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