When it comes to tech, truth is, fair isn’t the default. But there are steps we can take collectively to make technology work better for everyone.
Last weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to celebrate that landmark moment, I've gathered resources to propel us to design for all, not just right now, but every day.
There are over 1 billion individuals living with a form of disability (be it visual, hearing, motor, cognitive, or situational). Accessing the web via individualized keyboards, adaptive hardware, or alternative cues, this population isn’t always represented in our systems. Remote work presents even more possibilities for exclusion.
As UXers, we’re in a position to make the platforms and products we work on more accessible. Browse these resources and let's take action in our designs:
• Start with web updates: evaluate websites you manage for accessibility errors, increase color contrast if needed, and make sure all images include alt text (for more, see Material Design’s accessibility guide). For apps, use these accessibility scanners for Android and iOS.
• Explore our series on designing for global accessibility, put together by UX Researchers Astrid Weber and Nithya Sambasivan. Part I: Awareness, Part II: Context, Part III: Inclusive Defaults.
• Learn how to make your online meetings inclusive. Here’s how we’re leveraging tools for accessible remote learning at Google.
• See what’s worked and what hasn’t: Interaction Designer Shabi Kashani recounts her trials and errors, and Jen Devins, Head of Accessibility UX at Google, shares how designing for accessibility can improve the whole system.
• Connect with others online and spark conversation via Clarity Conference and NYC’s accessibility and inclusive design (currently virtual) meetup group.
• Watch Crip Camp on Netflix to witness the power of a movement, and join one of Crip Impact's free weekly webinars.
• And check in with yourself! Empathetically designing for others involves refining our own emotional intelligence. Try Dr. Marc Brackett’s RULER framework.
• When you’re ready, take these steps to get your team to invest more in accessible design.
I hope some of these links can help you! Share your favorite tips or any we've missed at @googledesign—we love hearing from you.
—Erin Kim, Social Media Editor
Accessibility Scanner for Android (Google)
Accessibility Scanner for iOS (Google)
Blind Inclusivity Resources (Perkins)
Color Contrast Analyzer (Paciello Group)
Community & Accessibility Online: A Conversation with Chancey Fleet & Taeyoon Choi (Data & Society)
COVID-19 is Reshaping the Future of Work for People with Disabilities (Source America)
Cultivating Emotional Intelligence: Dr. Marc Brackett in conversation with Brené Brown
Designing for Global Accessibility by Google UXers
Fair is Not the Default: Why building inclusive tech takes more than good intentions (Google)
Hosting Accessible Online Meetings (University of Washington)
How People with Disabilities Use the Web (World Wide Web Consortium)
How to make remote learning work for everyone (Google)
How to make the case for accessibility on your team (Google)
Material Design: Accessibility Guide
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (Google)