Inclusive Design for Recycling Facilities: Public Participation Equity for the Visually Impaired

  • Kin Wai Michael SiuEmail author
  • Chi Hang Lo
  • Yi Lin Wong
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1026)


Researchers and designers are increasingly advocating wider and fairer participation in recycling. However, many people are still excluded from this meaningful social participation. For example, visually impaired persons (VIPs) still face many barriers to participating in recycling independently. Since 2015, a series of studies has been conducted to explore the possibility of VIPs participating in recycling. Through a case study of designing recycling facilities for VIPs, this paper explores and discusses the difficulties and limitations that the visually impaired experience in participating in recycling, despite technological advancements that claim to help people with disabilities. It also identifies some directions for researchers and designers for future studies and professional practice.


Equity Fairness Inclusive design Public design Recycling Participation Visually impaired persons (VIPs) 



The authors thank The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) for its research fund support for the study. The authors also acknowledge partial support from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship Scheme (RGC 35000316) during the data collection and the preparation of this paper. The Eric C. Yim Endowed Professorship provided financial support for the data analysis. The authors also thank the visually impaired participants from the Hong Kong Blind Union, PolyU, and other NGOs and social service organizations for the visually impaired.


  1. 1.
    Borg, F., Winberg, M., Vinterek, M.: Children’s learning for a sustainable society: influences from home and preschool. Educ. Inq. 8(2), 151–172 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Casaló, L.V., Escario, J.J.: Intergenerational association of environmental concern: evidence of parents’ and children’s concern. J. Environ. Psychol. 48, 65–74 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    Druin, A.: The role of children in the design of new technology. Behav. Inf. Technol. 21(1), 1–25 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Geyer, R., Jambeck, J.R., Law, K.L.: Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Sci. Adv. 3(7), e1700782 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Largo-Wight, E., Johnston, D.D., Wight, J.: The efficacy of a theory-based, participatory recycling intervention on a college campus. J. Environ. Health 76(4), 26–31 (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
    Matthies, E., Selge, S., Klöckner, C.A.: The role of parental behaviour for the development of behaviour specific environmental norms – the example of recycling and re-use behaviour. J. Environ. Psychol. 32, 277–284 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    Ramirez, A.R., González-Carrasco, I., Jasper, G.H., Lopez, A.L., Lopez-Cuadrado, J.L., Garcia-Crespo, A.: Towards human smart cities: internet of things for sensory impaired individuals. Computing 99(1), 107–126 (2017)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sanders, E.B.-N: From user-centered to participatory design approaches. In: Frascara, J. (ed.) Design and the Social Science, pp. 18–25. CRC Press, London (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Siu, K.W.M.: Accessible park environments and facilities for the visually impaired. Facilities 31(13/14), 590–609 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Siu, K.W.M.: Innovation for diversity and fairness: inclusive design of recycling facilities for visually impaired people. Int. J. Community Divers. 12(1), 51–65 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Siu, K.W.M.: Open space for the visually impaired: open or exclude? Int. J. Civic Polit. Community Stud. 10(1), 7–21 (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Siu, K.W.M., Wong, M.M.Y.: Promotion of a healthy public living environment: participatory design of public toilets with visually impaired persons. Public Health 127(7), 629–636 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Siu, K.W.M., Xiao, J.X.: Public Facility Design for Sustainability: Participatory Action Research on Household Recycling in Hong Kong. Action Research, 30 March 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kin Wai Michael Siu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chi Hang Lo
    • 1
  • Yi Lin Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.School of DesignThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong

Personalised recommendations