When Sean Crump kept seeing accessibility issues in the businesses he frequented, he developed an internationally recognized accessibility certification for commercial and residential buildings worldwide. Today, his firm, Included By Design, addresses systemic gaps in disability inclusion by consulting and training businesses and their employees on how to make their spaces more inclusive. He also shows businesses how engagement with the disability community is better for their bottom line. At Included By Design, 60 per cent of staff live with disabilities. “We wanted to make sure that, not only did we practice what we preach, but actually show the value of this under-utilized community of people with amazing education, amazing resiliency,” Crump says.
Included By Design is currently working on the new Glenbow Museum project alongside architecture firm Dialog. And it recently launched Krooshl, a virtual marketplace identifying businesses that have been certified by Included By Design, and free event software for those businesses to host events and track and manage data. It’s one piece of a larger puzzle of helping businesses maximize what Crump calls their “ROI” (return on inclusion). “There’s a misconception of [it being] all-or-nothing when it comes to implementing accessibility into the built environment,” Crump says. “But it’s not something [where] you can just flip a switch and be fully accessible. It is prioritizing access, prioritizing initiatives and qualifying the investments … to show that, in fact, there’s a betterment of their business, from social and economic perspectives.”