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Today BT launches a new online Inclusive Design Toolkit, at this year’s annual New Designers event at the Business Design Cente, in Islington. The event is aiming to encourage the industry-wide design community to develop products and services which are accessible by everyone, irrespective of age, ability or circumstance.

The website was commissioned by BT and developed by Sagentia, a lead member of the CITD (Centre for Inclusive Technology and Design), in conjunction with iDesign. It took three years to complete and provides a comprehensive guide to the principles and commercial benefits of inclusive design.

The Inclusive Design Toolkit has been developed to support designers and those involved in product development, as well as providing a general guide to inclusive design for businesses. Steve Andrews, BT’s inclusive design champion, said: “Disabled people want to take advantage of new communication technologies just like anyone else and with 10 million disabled people in the UK at present, a figure which will increase as the population ages, this is an audience which must not be forgotten. We are proud of the products and services BT has developed and increasingly see the benefits of designs that are ‘customer friendly’ and easy to use. This is why we have invested in helping develop this toolkit."

BT commissioned the Inclusive Design Toolkit as part of its ongoing commitment to creating a more socially inclusive society and forms part of BT’s Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. BT has a reputation for developing products which can be used by all of its customers, regardless of age or ability and has developed inclusively designed products and services for a number of years. These include the Converse range, aimed at both business, deaf and hard of hearing customers, introduced in 1992 and the BT Big Button range, introduced in 1998. BT has also provided bills to customers through alternative media, such as Braille and large print for over 15 years and in May 2007 BT Sign was launched, providing information about products and services in British Sign Language.

As part of the launch, BT also announced a competition calling for the submission of designs based on the elements taught in the toolkit, for the chance to win £2,000. For further information log onto


Notes to Editor:


"Inclusive design is often talked about but rarely put into practice. This toolkit clearly demonstrates how these concepts can fit into the design cycle. Inclusive design needs to be seen as a route to better design rather than an afterthought or add-on to the process. We would like to see this become mainstream practice very quickly."

Mike Rodd, Director of Learned Society and External Relations, British Computer Society

Timeline of Inclusive Design at BT:

1992 - BT introduced accessibility features into the converse range of phones

1998 - BT Big Button phone launched

2002 - BT included disability products in mainstream TV advertising

2006 - BT became the first FTSE 100 company to provide information to customer in British Sign language

2007 - BT launched free online Inclusive Design Toolkit

About Sagentia

Sagentia is a global technology management and product development company. Established in 1986, our unwavering commitment to innovation has led to the launch of new technologies, services and breakthrough products in six global markets. We employ more than 200 staff and have offices in six locations worldwide. Sagentia was instrumental in the CITD and is a leading expert on Inclusive Design and its application to technology.

About i-design

i~design 2 is an on-going collaborative research programme on inclusive design funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council For more information please see

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2007, BT Group plc’s revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Sagentia Group (The Generics Group) in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit