Many people use accessibility and inclusive design as interchangeable terms. However, they are not the same thing. Accessibility is an outcome, and inclusive design is a process. As an outcome, accessibility is a thing that we measure — how well does a digital asset meet technical requirements such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines? How easy is it for someone with a disability to use? Can people with different disabilities complete tasks?
Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.