Dignity Manifesto of Design for People Living with Dementia – Have your say

Professor Richard Fleming

Three years ago the Dignity Manifesto of Design for People Living with Dementia was launched. Since then, 450 people from more than 30 countries have signed it.

While it is very satisfying to know that there is a large community of like-minded people supporting good design for people living with dementia and that there is a growing consensus on the essential characteristics of good design, there is also a sense that more can be done to test and promote this consensus. With this in mind, I have been working with Kirsty Bennett, a fellow founder of the Manifesto, to produce the first draft of an environmental assessment tool based on the values and principles of the Dignity Manifesto.

Our thought is that providing an assessment tool will encourage the application of the principles of design and, if the tool is used in many countries, test the relevance of the principles in widely different economic and cultural contexts. We are hopefully, leading to an internationally recognised environmental assessment tool.

You are invited to look at the tool and test it. The goal is to use the feedback provided to develop an assessment tool that will be placed on the Dignity Manifesto of Design website, available for unrestricted use under a Creative Commons license.

Several stages will need to be navigated for this to happen. The first is to be sure that there is sufficient consensus on the benefits of providing such a tool, the second is the refinement of the tool in responses to the feedback and the third is the testing of the reliability and validity of the tool. The latter will require resourcing and this is a matter for future discussion. There may well be other stages that will become apparent as the project develops.

The assessment tool, a description of the background to its development, a lengthy overview of the literature relevant to the principles underpinning the tool and a questionnaire that you may use to guide your feedback are available to download here. Or, if you prefer, email me at assessment@designdignitydementia.com requesting the materials.

Please consider being involved in this attempt to take the Dignity Manifesto of Design for People Living with dementia a step further towards real-world application. Your views, pros and cons, will be appreciated and feedback based on using the assessment tool in a real-life situation will be especially valued. Please send your feedback to assessment@designdignitydementia.com

Happy Birthday to the Dignity Manifesto of Design for People Living with Dementia and best wishes to you.

Richard Fleming, PhD.


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