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Personas for Accessible UX

About the Talk

October 17, 2014 10:45 AM

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

If accessibility is as “usability for the widest possible range of capabilities” (ISO 9241-20), we in UX need to consider how we incorporate people with disabilities in all of our work, from user research to evaluation.

This presentation will focus on how we represent people with disabilities in our models of the audience—specifically how we incorporate accessibility needs into personas.

We will start with an overview of the relationship between usability and accessibility, looking at the international standards definitions and the switch from a medical to a social model of disability. This turn to the social says that rather than being defined as an impairment, disability is the result of an interaction between a person with an impairment and the environmental or attitudinal barriers they encounter. In other words, disability is a quality of a (poor) user experience.

We will look at the range of disabilities, including sensory (primarily vision and hearing), physical or motor (mobility and dexterity), and cognitive (from attention disorders to speech, language and literacy disabilities), exploring:

• What they are • How they affect the user experience • Typical assistive technology • Needs outside of the direct interaction they include • Demographics and statistics

Then we will look at different ways the needs of people with disabilities can be included in personas or other ways of representing the audience for UX design, using sets of personas in different situations as examples.

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