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Accessibility & Inclusive Design 

With first-hand knowledge and experience at the heart of the process, Mima’s Accessibility and Inclusive Design consultants use their aspirational, pragmatic and progressive approach to deliver:

Accessibility audits and recommendations reports
- our NRAC-certified team can help audit your space or design and make practical recommendations for improvement

Access Consultancy - our experts can work, embedded, as part of a wider design, architectural or masterplan team

Disability awareness training - we deliver in-person & virtual training to help your teams grow understanding, insight and confidence around disability

Recruitment & facilitation of user groups - we bring lived experience of disability into design teams to support practice design decision-making

Inclusive design guidance & policy documents - we can help you define your ambition and set standards for your teams and partners

Inclusive internal cultures, recruitment policies and operational strategies - we help organisations live and get benefit from more inclusive thinking

What challenges do we solve?

We bring lived experience of disability to every design challenge we encounter. The voices of real people are vital in developing inclusive environments for all. Empathy is a key component of our research, so we are committed to understanding in detail the unique perspectives of customers, passengers and other stakeholders so that we can build and curate experiences that empower everyone, regardless of how they identify, and enable them to connect better with people and places.

We focus on disability and all other protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010) to ensure solutions are not only accessible from a physical, sensory, and cognitive perspective but inclusive to all users. Whilst this varies from project to project, we’ve worked with museums on the importance of easy-read formats, advised airports on the design of their multi-faith areas, and ensured event planners have considered the socio-economic barriers that might arise from increased ticket costs.

Our work doesn’t stop with the customer, guest or passenger; we believe change starts from the inside out and have worked with the likes of VisitEngland, Ashford Borough Council, the National Railway Museum, SeriousFun Children’s Network and COP28 to ensure that staff and volunteers have improved awareness and empathy and can work within inclusive internal cultures.

Importantly, we help our clients to better understand those who use their services and give them the confidence to become better advocates, providers and employers. Most people want to do the right thing; we give them the tools and resources to get started and continue moving in the right direction. 

Why work with us?

What sets our team apart is their kindness and quality. We truly care about the projects we work on, and often have first-hand experience of the barriers faced, which can ‘humanise’ the process of finding solutions.

A cornerstone of our approach at Mima is the ‘nothing about us, without us’ ethos and we support the Social Model of Disability in all we do. Our team is led and run by access consultants with lived experience of disability and other protected characteristics under the Equality Act (2010). We pride ourselves on designing equitable experiences (physically, socially and digitally) to those with permanent, temporary and situational impairments and access requirements, whether customers or staff members.

Our work is always varied and interesting. We’ve authored inclusive design standards for Heathrow Airport, advised on inclusive exhibitions for the National Science and Media Museum, delivered training sessions on social and operational accessibility for Expo 2020 staff and volunteers, audited dozens of outdoor sites for Forestry England, and were the access consultants for COP28 in Dubai.

As our clients, we bring you on this journey with us. We never have, and never will, have a militant approach to accessibility and inclusive design, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to challenge perspectives and test boundaries when needed. If you’re looking for consultants to simply help you achieve compliance, we probably aren’t the team for you. Best practice and beyond? We’ve got you.

Highlight Case Study – Accessibility & Inclusive Design

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow airport has an aspiration to become the most accessible airport in the world. In order to achieve this goal, design solutions within the built environment must - of course - be inclusive, but true inclusion extends much further than this. Digital and web accessibility is of paramount importance for a passenger's first impression, and good social access (a positive mentality and perception surrounding disability) can make or break an accessible end-to-end experience for disabled passengers and staff members alike. With an awareness that a company-wide design process would help ensure its aspirational goal developed into consistent, coherent action, Jacobs and Mima were tasked with updating Heathrow's Accessible and Inclusive Airports Asset Standard.

Read more

Podcast icon
Featured Podcast
Episode 1 | 25 Oct 2023

How do you create spaces for all?

Discover the fascinating world of human-centered design in two vastly different domains - museums and airports! 

Podcast icon
Featured Podcast
Episode 3 | 22 Nov 2023

How do you make travel more accessible?

A billion people - that’s 15% of the world’s population - live with some sort of disability, so ensuring equal access to travel is not just simply the right thing to do not just from an ethical standpoint but it’s also just good business.

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