Support and embrace the Universal Design approach
Policy makers shall consider digital mobility and goods delivery applications the same way they consider public transport services and the purchase of basic goods: essential. The cost-benefit analysis of private companies will always self-assess that investing in accessibility and inclusivity is a “disproportionate burden”, thus marginalising persons with any degree of limitation, which represents as much as 24% of the total population.
To increase the relevance of Universal Design (UD) approach:
- A comprehensive regulatory frameworks – as suggested in (D1.4, 2021) may set minimum requirements for accessibility and inclusion and also reward operators that go the extra mile to improve their services for vulnerable people.
- Introduce an incentive scheme and possibly subsidies to support the development and demonstration of universally designed services and applications. Make the benefits of UD visible, test local feasibility of the approach, and regularly update UD recommendations.
- Include UD principles as minimum requirements for public procurement and approval of new mobility services.
- Foster UD Principles in local sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMP) and regional and national transport plans as overarching planning principles and define key performance indicators that are monitored.
- Appoint a Universal Design Officer at local, regional or national level who can oversee the application of UD principles in the planning, design and authorization of digital mobility services.
- Create an ‘inclusive and accessible service’ quality label that can be issued if a service complies with the UD principles in digital mobility.
- Introduce UD in the curriculum of the training of transport and urban administration professionals.