Harvey Norman Commercial Victoria recently hosted its first brand expo at its Selection Centre in Port Melbourne. HNCV BrandExpo 23 showcased the latest products and technology from Harvey Norman Commercial’s global brand supply partners to members of the building, architect and design community. 

One of the guest speakers at the three-day event was Paralympian, Dylan Alcott who, in a Q&A session with Harvey Norman Commercial Victoria business development manager Mil Hanna, spoke about how the appliance and bath ware industries can be more inclusive through accessible design.

“When you build something, and you forget about accessibility, it doesn’t look good when you need to put it in later and it costs more. When accessibility is done from the start and lived experience is listened to, it looks cool, and you don’t even notice it most of the time”, Alcott said.

He gave Siri as one example, invented so a visually impaired person could use their smartphone, and an automated door at the entry as another, “so someone like me doesn’t have to try and open it. When accessibility is done well, we all use it. The NDIS is great for funding us and giving us choices.”

“The number one thing everyone should do, and if you don’t know what to do, that’s okay and if you get it wrong, that’s okay too, but the best thing to do is listen to the lived experience of people with a disability. Often our voices are spoken on behalf of the previous generation and it’s not what we need.

“So many people with a disability now feel empowered to speak up and be listened to. It’s about working together for the future to do things the right way and we are so lucky to live in a country that has the resources to do it,” Alcott said.

Photo: Dylan Alcott and Harvey Norman Commercial Victoria’s Mil Hanna