User Experience

Fingers touching ELIA. A breakthrough new language for the blind.

Can This New Alternative to Braille Change the Way Blind People Read?

ELIA is a breakthrough new language for the blind. It can be mastered in a matter of hours, not months ...
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User in a wheelchair testing the new Microsoft accessibility controller

Microsoft is quietly changing the way we work, again

how much design has changed since spellcheck was introduced at Microsoft? Take a look at a feature that now sits right next to spellcheck in Office apps. It’s called Accessibility ...
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A women surrounded by a cube, walking towards a circle opening

What We’re Leaving Out of the Discussion Around Inclusive Design

Kat Holmes argues that to truly achieve inclusiveness, we need to first look at who we're excluding ...
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3 elderly women sitting of a park bench, smiling.

Aging lessons: The things that let you thrive in old age are easier than you think

Through social workers, friends of friends and neighbors, the center tracked down 20 older New Yorkers living active lives and followed them through their daily routines ...
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Illustration of a red vehicle parked in a handicap spot, with two passer-byers checking to see if there is a permit in the windshield

When a Colleague Takes a Parking Space for People With Disabilities

Two colleagues seem to be using parking spots they don’t deserve. But deciding whether to bring this up with management depends partly on sorting the facts from rumors — and ...
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Finger touching the feel the view system by ford

Ford showcases smart window that allows blind to ‘feel’ the view

Ford revealed a prototype technology, called Feel the View, that allows the blind passengers to "feel" what they can't see outside a car's window ...
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Screen shot of pinterest's new user interface

Pinterest Just Redesigned Its App For Blind People

Here’s how the company confronted its own shortcomings on inclusive design–and systemically redesigned its app for everyone ...
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Cyclists and pedestrians enjoy the Dequindre Cut, an important part of Detroit’s riverfront greenway system.

City of Design: The Evolving Practice of Inclusive Design in Detroit

Detroit’s design community has set an ambitious vision—to become a global leader in the practice of inclusive design in order to drive more inclusive growth ...
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Plastic figure of a wheelchair user rolling over a paper map

5 Problems with Accessibility (And How Universal Design Fixes Them)

The goal of opening our communities to everyone has been around for decades. However, with advances in medicine affording us longer lifespans, accessibility must go even further. We must focus ...
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user grace shallow on an ipad with a blank screen

6 Ways Your Tech is Making it Harder on People with Disabilities

From something as seemingly trivial as missing out on online promo deals to something as crucial as the inability to apply for certain jobs, lack of inclusivity in tech design ...
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Black keyboard, with red accessibility backspace key

Accessibility and Universal Design in the Digital Age

An accessibility gap has been created, and it's only getting bigger, says Digital Pulp's chief creative officer ...
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Employee at Microsoft, who is also apart of their autism hiring program.

Individuals with Autism can bring untapped talent to every business

At Microsoft, we see disability as a strength. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, including attracting, recruiting, and retaining diverse talent in the tech industry ...
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Photo featuring a phone game displaying the suggested design where a color is always paired up with some other kind of game state indicator.

INCREASING ACCESSIBILITY: HOW PUBLISHERS ARE MAKING GAMES MORE COLORBLIND FRIENDLY

Accessibility advocates are lending themselves to improve the hobby of gaming for their with colorblind players ...
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Photo of Kat Holmes

What Your Getting Wrong About Inclusive Design

Kat Holmes shares the biggest misconceptions with inclusive design–and what companies need to do to get it right ...
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Headshot of activist and disabled model, Angel Dixon

Angel Dixon, Advocacy Manager and Ambassador

Angel will be telling us about how design and diversity and inclusion come together through Universal Design. Her talk is not centered around her own lived experience of disability, for ...
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illustration of people with multiple abilities

Inclusive Design: 12 Ways to Design for Everyone

The premise of inclusive design is that apart from permanent disabilities there are temporary, situational, or changing disabilities that affect us all. We invited a range of experts to suggest tips ...
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colorful icons including silhouettes of people, eyes, and brains.

The Same, But Different: Breaking Down Accessibility, Universality, and Inclusion in Design

The terminology and concepts of accessibility, inclusive design, and universal design are often intertwined. I think they interrelate, and each has an important meaning of its own ...
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finger testing the new braille typeface

Brilliant New Typeface Combines Touchable Braille With Visible Letters

Japanese designer Kosuke Takahashi has created a new typeface that allows everyone equal access to information, whether they can see or not ...
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Graphic illustration of various individuals doing various activities

Inclusive Design: Accommodating Sensory Issues in ASD

Today, 1 in 68 people in North America are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder(ASD), which means there is a significant amount of people who could benefit from more thoughtful design solutions ...
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interior of public transit station

Introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation

 To make public transit work for everyone, today we’re introducing “wheelchair accessible” routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs ...
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Two individuals, from the waist down, at the end of a curb, one is holding a white cane.

The partnerships enabling disabled city residents to better explore their surroundings

s cities work to add technologies to improve residents’ lives and mobility, many are putting a renewed focus on inclusivity and equitable innovation distribution ...
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A five-panel banner stands outside of the Center for Students with Disabilities in Wilbur Cross highlighting African Americans who experienced disabilities.

African Americans and the Disability Experience’ sheds light on struggles for equality African Americans with disabilities have faced

“African Americans and the Disability Experience,” an exhibit that displays a five-panel banner with images, text and historical dates, highlights both the struggles and accomplishments of African Americans with disabilities ...
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Abstract piece of art. Demonstrating life in color with a black box in the center. Inside the box is a blind individual with her seeing eye dog shaking hands with someone outside the box, or in the life with color.

How to Really See a Blind Person

I want others to feel more comfortable having conversations with people whose experiences are different from their own ...
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An orange sign in the Amherst Center for Senior Services hangs in front of a corridor to indicate which rooms and services are ahead.

Amherst Center for Senior Services upgrades facility with way-finding features

The Amherst Center for Senior Services has installed new signs and a color-coding system to help its members navigate the 53,000-square-foot facility ...
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Pingelapese children ride back from a picnic on one of the uninhabited small islands around Pingelap.

On Island of the Colorblind, Paradise Has a Different Hue

An island in the Pacific has a unique genetic history that affects how its people understand color ...
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Blind individual sitting and smiling for a photo

Microsoft Accessibility Features

With more than 1 billion people in the world with disabilities, there is no limit to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of all those who use ...
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Support cane in front of feet walking

Ohio State University, Partners Develop ‘Smart Paint’ to Help the Visually Impaired Navigate Cities

The latest installment of MetroLab's Innovation of the Month series highlights how a team at Ohio State University, along with the city of Columbus and private companies, is using smart, ...
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[Source Image: EgudinKa/iStock]

How to Design for Everyone, In 3 Steps

First? Ignore the average user–they don’t exist ...
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Abilitrek workers working at their computers

Abilitrek Makes Finding Hotels For People with Disabilities Much Easier

Daman Wandke, started a website called Abilitrek that finds hotels that have the right accommodations for travelers with disabilities ...
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homeless women sitting on a street corner with her belongings

Will Smart Cities Inevitably Worsen Social Inequality?

Positive action will be required to ensure that smart city solutions don’t just favor the already wealthy and connected ...
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a lime colored wall can serve as a landmark for locating a staircase

A Closer Look at Universal Design

Something designed under the guiding principles of universal design should be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible. By definition, it should inherently be as accessible as possible ...
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Professor Raymond Lifchez, recipient of the 2018 Ed Roberts Award

2018 Ed Roberts Award for accessible design leader Raymond Lifchez

The Center for Independent Living will recognize UC Berkeley architecture and city planning professor Raymond Lifchez with the second annual Ed Roberts Award, which recognizes and honors individual contributions to the success of CIL and the ...
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Individual in wheelchair being guided down the barrier free paths of the Pompeii Archaeological Site

“Pompeii for all”: wheelchair and stroller accessible path

The project “Pompeii for all. Accessibility paths overcoming architectural barriers” can be considered Italy’s longest barrier-free path and it represents another step forward in the rebirth of Pompeii Archaeological Site ...
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Meeting in room with red walls

We’re all misfit consumers – we need inclusive design

Mass production for a diverse population leads to exclusion and disparity. Canada should rethink what it means to truly innovate ...
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Streets of Berlin featuring a women walking next to a man in a wheelchair

The Disabled Flâneur

My diagnosis won't keep me away from the city streets and the sweet energy that's found there, even if someday I "walk" by dint of wheels ...
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Public Bench

Why cities are full of uncomfortable benches

It's not just you — they’re an example of hostile architecture ...
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Inclusive India

VR Ferose on designing a world that is more accessible for people with disabilities

Whether we are framing laws, recruiting employees or designing products, approaching these through the inclusiveness lens is a great starting point to create a more accessible world for persons with disabilities ...
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User interacting with the new feature of Voice Access to take a photo of her dog

Google’s Latest Accessibility Feature Is So Good, Everyone Will Use It

Though it was developed for users with severe motor impairment, Voice Access could revolutionize how anyone uses their phone ...
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Inclusivity at Microsoft Design

Moving the Needle: Inclusivity in Design

A look at how illustration played a major role in 2017’s biggest redesigns. It was marked by debate on diversity, inclusivity, and sexism, from the sterile halls of Silicon Valley to the studios of ...
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Sign graphics that Elpida Homes uses to make wayfinding easier for those who dont speak English, including arrows, books, and the emergency cross.

Elpida Home

The archetype visual language of signs. All members of Elpida Home, are identified not only by their title, but an explanatory illustration as well ...
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Elderly women holding the arm of a younger women as they walk down a path

To build an inclusive smart city, look through an age-friendly lens

As the aging population expands, some cities are implementing strategic plans to ensure the needs of the elderly are met — especially in terms of mobility and housing ...
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Assistive technology displayed at the New Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Exhibit

Every Designer Should See the Smithsonian’s Illuminating Exhibit on Accessibility

Sleek wheelchairs, stylish walking sticks, powered body suits and eye writing technology: New Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum accessible design exhibit shows a bright future for aging adults and people ...
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A hearing aid designed by Elana Langer

Designing for Access

Highlighting the beneficial ways design and technology are transforming the lives of people with different physical, cognitive and sensory abilities ...
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Visually impaired women, Robin Christopherson, using the Barclays app that can make a payment to a contact using a smartphone’s voice assistant.

Learning from accessibility: ‘When we embrace inclusive design, everyone benefits’

Accessible banking used to mean statements in large print. Now it involves fingerprints, face recognition and hi-vis debit cards. Next up, a helpful money management bot ...
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Photo from behind of a presentation with rowed seating, with a wheelchair placed in the center of the isle to show lack of planning.

Meetings and Events Technology Alone Can’t Solve Accessibility Challenges

People with disabilities are often overlooked by event spaces and meeting planners. A new wave of innovation and technology can help make meetings and events more accessible ...
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Illustration by Christine Wang of a female character in a wheelchair staring at a staircase with a diploma at the top.

ACCESSING EDUCATION WITH A DISABILITY ISN’T AS EASY AS WE THINK

Equal access to education isn’t quite as easy as one would imagine ...
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Individual wearing the Aira glasses, touching the side of the glasses.

AIRA: SERVICE FOR BLIND PEOPLE TO MAKE THEM MORE INDEPENDENT

Through Aira, a blind person is connected to an agent through their smart glasses. Whenever this person needs helps, they just press a button on a camera, and are immediately ...
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School districts have plenty of assistive technology options to help the learning experience of students with disabilities. This photo displays a child's hands touching a tablet.

Assistive Technology Helpful in the Classroom for Visually Impaired

Students with vision problems now have a number of tools at their disposal to help keep up in the classroom, they just need to be implemented correctly ...
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Folkets Park, or the People’s Park, is a small public space in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, a northern, diverse neighborhood.

In Copenhagen, a “People’s Park” Design Includes Dark Corners

What happened when organizers of a public space makeover put “inclusive” at the top of the checklist ...
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Photo shows the article's author, Tatyana McFadden, after winning the women's 400 meter T54 final at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Technology has changed our world, but hasn’t done enough for people with disabilities

Tatyana McFadden is a seven-time gold-medal-winning Paralympian and an ambassador for the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, a global challenge seeking new innovations to transform the world for people with lower-limb paralysis ...
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The conference's Greater Dallas field trip destinations included a visit to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Trinity Groves area, where attendees encountered a youth mariachi band.

5th Annual AARP Livable Communities National Conference

The 2017 AARP Livable Communities National Conference was an opportunity for elected officials, planning professionals, local leaders and community advocates from throughout the nation to share ideas, best practices and ...
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person walking in a hallway with others siting the background
Recreation: A younger gentleman walking with an older man in the park
Public Buildings: aerial view of city buildings
Streets: people crossing an intersection
Housing: exterior view of a suburban house
Transportation: close up of dangling handles on a bus