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Unilever Unveils Degree Inclusive, A Deodorant Designed For Folks With Disabilities

by Rudy Sanchez on 04/28/2021 | 2 Minute Read

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26% of adults have a disability of some nature. Of that portion, 3.6% (or over 11.8 million) of those folks have a disability that makes self-bathing or dressing more difficult. 

Unfortunately, most products come designed with little thought given to the needs of consumers with disabilities. Some folks can't press down a spray nozzle or twist the dial on the bottom of their deodorant to make it rise. A cursory survey of the typical personal care products we might use at least once daily would uncover many instances of packaging that require both hands and complex or forceful actions to dispense or use the product.

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Now, Unilever has unveiled a new concept developed specifically for those with disabilities called Degree Inclusive. The first public iteration of the product was designed in partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, non-profit organizations the Open Style Lab, The Lighthouse Chicago, a panel of designers, engineers, occupational therapists, and, more importantly, 200 consumers with a range of disabilities to trial the first roll-on prototype. Unilever has not announced when Degree Inclusive will be broadly available, though the announcement states that feedback based on this prototype will get incorporated into the final commercial release.

The roll-on applicator on Degree Inclusive is larger, applying more product with fewer strokes. Additionally, the rounded packaging has molded grips on the bottom, and the lid features a hook while magnets get incorporated to assist with opening. The label is also larger and includes braille.

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“As a brand that’s committed to inspiring confidence in everyone to move more, Degree believes no one should be held back from breaking a sweat and enjoying the transformative benefits of movement,” said Kathryn Swallow, global Degree brand vice president, in the announcement of Degree Inclusive.

“More than 60 million people in the US live with a disability, yet products and experiences are still not designed with this community in mind," Swallow added. "With Degree Inclusive, we hope to inspire bold action across the industry to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal playing field.”