How do we as designers control the narrative and visual meaning of accessibility?
With 1.3 billion people having a significant disability, how we create access and who we include in the process is essential to societal well-being. As designers, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other similar international legislation, outline baseline standards for inclusion. I believe a collective commitment to creating accessible design beyond the ADA is needed to ensure that the future doesn’t just include us, but accepts and liberates all bodies and abilities.
Focusing on accessible design beyond its function, A is for Access highlights work emphasizing delight, personal expression, and innovation for people with disabilities. The project is composed of three complementary elements: a digital archive, a book, and a manifesto.
The digital archive is a collection of design histories, inspiration, and projects that investigate accessible web design, including image descriptions and audio narration.
The book, Amid Access, provides a more in-depth exploration of accessible design thinking, historical context, and where we’re at currently. The book's design applies text formatting and materiality standards to increase legibility for print.
Learnings from the archive and design research transformed into the design manifesto, entitled Designing Accessible Futures. This short, pocket-size text guides designers through questions about what we are making, how we might integrate accessibility, and understanding our own biases.