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Development of office furniture accessible to all

CIDEMCO-Tecnalia has designed the first series of office furniture for accessible work environments in offices. The first universal office furniture system valid for all people, with and without functional diversity, has been presented.

This system has been named as Xenon Universal and is unique because it does not exclusively have products designed for people with functional diversity, but also has studied the functional limitations detected as challenges in the design process and which, on being overcome, have given rise to an innovative product. Over these past few years, those groups of people with disabilities have exercised considerable pressure for all products purchased by government bodies to be accessible, i.e. “non-discriminatory”. Despite the fact that at all levels of Government Administration the purchase of accessible furniture and fittings is being encouraged, the reality is that the development of accessible products in the current situation does not respond to this demand. Thus, at the start of this project, the first signs of an unresolved problem was identified, which represented an excellent opportunity for this office furniture company to be able to launch an accessible product on to the market. Until the appearance of the Xenon Universal series, there existed isolated products but no complete programme for furniture which met the needs of all those people with or without functional diversity. The knowledge generated over these months of development was published by OFITA, 5000 copies being printed, with the goal of providing information on the conclusions of the project to all those interested, as well as promoting social awareness and commitment. The product, moreover, is accompanied by an installation guide in order to help carry out the correct distribution of furniture in the office environment.