User Experience

woman walking with her blind dog

Navigating an ever-changing Seattle while blind: ‘Every week is a new beginning’

Natalie McCarthy was able to get a feel for rowing the Charles River without sight. But the construction-filled streets of Seattle? Those pose a challenge for her and her service ...
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3 ATM machines at different heights

A Seven-Foot-Tall Designer Re-imagines Public Space

Wouter Corvers envisions street infrastructure created for people of all shapes and sizes ...
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abstract drawing of person in a wheelchair overlaid with abstract lines and circles

A Disabled Life Is a Life Worth Living

In midsummer, I learned of the death of Laurie Hoirup, a prominent 60-year-old disability rights advocate in California. Laurie drowned in the Sacramento River after a July 4 celebration. She ...
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woman in wheelchair and standing woman next to her

Part II – Accessibility cannot be not an issue anymore. Accessibility is sexy and trending.

For a long time accessibility and hospitality were worlds apart. Sometimes, that one room for wheelchair users at the end of the hall way, with a terrible view, had only ...
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woman in wheelchair and standing woman next to her

Accessibility cannot be not an issue anymore

For a long time accessibility and hospitality were worlds apart. Sometimes, that one room for wheelchair users at the end of the hall way, with a terrible view, had only ...
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The Conversation of Design

Telling stories is an age-old way people share ideas. At IDEO.org, storytelling sits at the core of how we learn about the people whom we design solutions for. The stories ...
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My Paralympic Blues

During the 12 days of the Paralympic Games, it will seem that we have sprung directly from the technological imagination of the 21st century. Those iron feet! Those wheelchair athletes ...
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Apple engineer Jordyn Castor poses for a headshot. Castor is a driving force behind accessibility of Apple products, especially for blind users.

This blind Apple engineer is transforming the tech world at only 22

Apple engineer Jordyn Castor has never been one for limitations. She was born 15 weeks early, weighing just under two pounds. Her grandfather could hold her in the palm of ...
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Darren and Jazzie McCallum look at her final photographs at Spectrum. (105.7 ABC Darwin: Emilia Terzon)

Children with autism give insight into their world view through Darwin photography exhibition

When Darwin tradesman Darren McCallum gave his nine-year-old daughter a $90 digital camera, its lens ended up focused on everything from the family staffy dog to their evening dinners ...
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Ali Stroker, second from left, in “Spring Awakening.” Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Actors With Disabilities Are Ready, Willing and Able to Take More Roles

“Have you ever been hit?” a man named John asks his caregiver in “Cost of Living,” a new play by Martyna Majok. “That’s what it’s like,” he continues. “Like people ...
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Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) in a scene from “Finding Dory.” (Pixar/Disney via Associated Press)

‘Finding Dory’ isn’t just about disability — it’s about community and support

From its first line — “Hi, my name is Dory, and I suffer from short-term memory loss” — it’s clear that Pixar’s “Finding Dory” will deliver very pointed messages about ...
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The number of people with disabilities who either have a job or are looking for one increased in 2015 PHOTO: MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

Workers with Disabilities See Long-Delayed Improvement as Job Market Tightens

Workers on the margins of the labor pool often get a second look as the job market heats up. After years of steady job creation, are we now at that ...
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Blind people read braille Qur’ans at a disability rehabilitation centre in Indonesia. The centre cares for around 40 Muslim patients. Photograph: Y T Haryono/Barcroft Images

Disability-inclusive development isn’t cheap, but exclusion has a higher price

At a parliamentary meeting on the case for disability-inclusive development three years ago, one MP playing devil’s advocate said: “Yes, but isn’t this all too costly?” Attitudes to disability inclusion ...
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blindnewworld

BlindNewWorld Challenges Everything You Think You Know about Blindness

A new social change movement has been created to help dispel the misinformation surrounding the capabilities and limitations of those who are blind or have low vision, and to help ...
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Autism Can Be An Asset In The Workplace, Employers And Workers Find

As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren't finding employment. Though many young adults on ...
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The models at the Design for Disability event, (from left to right), Jessica De La Rosa, Desiree Ray, and Cara Leibowitz.

A Look Inside The Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s Design for Disability Runway Show

Fashion  continues to be an industry of innovation and change, but when it comes to advancements in design for individuals with disabilities, things have remained relatively stagnant over the past ...
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IBM Design Winter 2016 Bootcampers empathising with someone who has low vision.

Inclusive Design Can’t Be An Afterthought

What intrigued me was that I was the only person who was not part of the accessibility department, nor do I have accessibility in my job title. Yet that was ...
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Geri Taylor, who has Alzheimer’s, and her husband, Jim, in Connecticut

Advice for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Alzheimer’s not only alters the lives of people with the disease but also the lives of those who care for them. The journey can be just as emotionally and physically ...
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portrait of young adult

Things you only know if you have an invisible disability

Out of the millions of disabled people living in the UK, only a small percentage have illnesses that can actually be seen. Those with 'invisible disabilities', from Crohn's disease to ...
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people in line with hands on shoulder crossing street

Cripping the Arts examines Canadian cultural production through a different lens

“Disability arts has a forty-five year history in Canada but currently there is a groundswell of interest in disability arts. It seems that everyone wants to program disability arts right ...
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illustration of autistic people

Beautiful minds, wasted

IN AMERICA in 1970 one child in 14,000 was reckoned to be autistic. The current estimate is one in 68—or one in 42 among boys. Similarly high numbers can be ...
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portrait of elderly woman

What If Residents Decided How Their Nursing Home Would Run?

When asked how she feels about living at St. Camillus Health Center in Whitinsville, Mass., her home for 15 years, Alice Hallinan doesn’t hesitate. “I love it very much,” the ...
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Dillan Barmache using Apple Tablet

Apple shares new short film on autism proves that accessibility features matter

Apple has released a new pair of videos on its YouTube channel highlighting the effect that technology has on people with disabilities. The video, called “Dillan’s Voice,” features a teenager ...
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penguin book covers

Just Turned 40? An Architect Says It’s Time To Design For Aging

When Architect Matthias Hollwich was approaching 40, he wondered what the next 40 years of his life might look like. He looked into the architecture that serves older adults, places ...
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winnegar bw

Understanding Disability: Focus on ‘livability’ helps everyone

Communities with a high “livability” rating for seniors and people with disabilities don’t just benefit those groups of people, the AARP says. Rather, all residents thrive and a community prospers ...
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hands holding stop watches infographic

Outthinking Dementia

I first realized it the day my father asked me which number came between 3 and 5. He had been living alone for a while in another state and I ...
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woman in wheelchair

Monitoring and Evaluation of Disability-Inclusive Development: Data and Statistics

The lack of data and information on disability and the situation of persons with disabilities at the national level contributes to the invisibility of persons with disabilities in official statistics, ...
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woman in wheelchair on curb ramp

Living My Life in the Grey Area of Disability

In the last nine months of my life, I have thought a lot about ableism. A year ago, when I whole-heartedly identified myself as “able-bodied,” I never even considered the ...
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two ceos speak with a young autistic man

Urgent Memo on Jobs for People with Disabilities

The majority of people with disabilities want to work, just like anyone else. However, only 34 percent of working-age people with disabilities are employed compared to 74.2 percent of people ...
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Corinne Duyvis

Fiction, like life, tells disabled people their lives have less value

Post-apocalyptic books, films and video games tend to avoid disabled characters or kill them off because it wouldn’t be ‘realistic’ for them to survive. Corinne Duyvis, who also happens to ...
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close up of a person's face

Making technology that helps empower everyone to do more

Chris Schlechty remembers a high school friend struggling to use his computer the way most other kids did, typing away at a conventional keyboard to chat with other teens. Like ...
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Louis braille

Louis Braille Gave The Blind A New Feel For Reading And Writing

Louis Braille desperately wanted to learn but was frustrated by the lack of books for the blind. Fully sightless by age 5 due to an accident, his school had only ...
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illustration of blind woman touching table surface

Causes of Blindness Vary for Older Adults

Q. What’s the No. 1 cause ofblindness in older adults in the United States? A. “It sounds like a simple question, but there’s no perfect answer,” said Dr. Susan Vitale, ...
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a circle of adults with traumatic brain injury and staff doing yoga

Study finds adapted yoga feasible, beneficial for adults with traumatic brain injury

A research team, led by an IU School of Health and Rehabilitation faculty member at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has determined that adapted yoga is both feasible and beneficial for ...
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children sitting on park bench

The Culture of Inclusion Is a Culture of Kindness

We all have certain styles and habits, skills and abilities. In teams, social circles, family units, workplaces, etc., these differences naturally complement each other to form cooperative and supportive environments.  ...
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person in wheelchair with back turned looking out towards field of grass

‘Disabled’: Just #SayTheWord

Last Friday, I noticed this posting on Facebook by Lawrence Carter-Long: "If you 'see the person not the disability' you're only getting half the picture. Broaden your perspective. You might ...
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modern love the podcast cover image

‘In Darkness And In Light’ | Modern Love 7

Nicole Kear seems like any other young mom — balancing career and family, rushing from activity to activity, and working to keep her marriage strong. But Nicole has another challenge ...
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collage of people's bodies with a backdrop of a hollywood scene

Inclusion: The Bigger Picture

The recent controversy regarding the Academy Awards' lack of inclusion of black actors for award nominations is sadly only part of the problem. The issue of inclusion in Hollywood echos ...
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danny woodburn holding protest sign in a crowd of protesters

Danny Woodburn Challenges Hollywood Over Inclusion and Diversity

Danny Woodburn is challenging Hollywood. Inclusion and diversity are popular buzzwords in Hollywood these days. Despite the fuss and fury over social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, there’s another group Hollywood has ...
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close up of a cane handle

The Geek’s Guide to Disability

Disability issues have become a hot topic amongst science fiction and fantasy fans. Last November, Lynne Thomas, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Michael Damian Thomas published the SF/F Con Accessibility Pledge, ...
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international disability alliance logo

2030 AGENDA TOOLKIT AND GUIDE FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is both an opportunity and responsibility for persons with disabilities to engage and to become the agents of change in shaping their future ...
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aerial view of woman walking across crosswalk

Yes, I’m blind. No, I don’t need help crossing the street.

I am sitting in the local Dunkin Donuts, working through a thesis reading, when the manager poses a question: “What happened to your eyes?” I’m legally blind, and it’s obvious. I ...
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dr hans asperger sitting down with children

The Early History of Autism in America

A surprising new historical analysis suggests that a pioneering doctor was examining people with autism before the Civil War ...
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fashion models in wheelchairs

Feel Free to Stare: Disability and Fashion

Sheathed in a curvaceous bronze basque or donning an ass-less latex bodysuit, Kylie Jenner’s recent cover editorial for Interview Magazine’s December issue engages with the morbidity and masochism of perfection ...
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woman in wheelchair on train

The challenges faced by disabled commuters

The daily commute can be testing for many workers, but disabled travellers often face extra challenges and costs. One Paralympian told the BBC that public transport was simply not fit ...
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side profiles highlighting brain in color

Age and Ability in the Cognitive Era

Our parents and grandparents represent one of the most complex societal and economic challenges facing nations as they struggle with increasing costs of healthcare and decreasing numbers of caregivers. People ...
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back of a man's head as he looks at a painting

Opportunities in art for people with disabilities

Holding a paintbrush in his hand, Romano Johnson stands up from his desk. He pivots to his left and approaches a large sheet of paper hanging on the wall. He ...
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laura-bridgeman

Laura Bridgman

Laura Dewey Bridgman was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, on December 21, 1829, to hardworking New England farmers. At the age of 24 months, she fell ill with scarlet fever ...
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elderly couple standing at crosswalk

getting around

The mid-block crosswalk installed near Washington School with flashing lights embedded in the road is a blessing, says M.A. Sinnhuber, who uses a cane after a recent injury. The recent ...
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A group of engineering students work on a wheelchair-based painting mechanism during the Fit-IN conference

Students, People with Different Abilities Collaborate on Adaptive Design Solutions

Eyeglasses can be colorful, elegant and make a fashion statement. They become an extension of a person and reflect the wearer’s personality. Viewed over time, they blend in ...
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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