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On Saturday, April 14, 2018, Design Incubation and AIGA/NY hosted a panel discussion and workshop titled, Designing for and Teaching Accessibility. Guest speakers included Elizabeth Guffey, professor of Art History at SUNY Purchase, and author of Designing Disability: Symbols, Spaces and Society (Bloomsbury, 2017); Bo Campbell, Interaction Designer and Accessibility Design Lead at IBM; Neil Ward, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Drake University; and Liz Jackson, founder of Girl with the Purple Cane and the Inclusive Design Network.

You can access a draft of the Accessibility Guide.pdf here. Bo Campbell welcomes any feedback.

We would like to continue the discussion here, offer feedback on the event, and consider some of the following topics:

  • How are accessibility and universal design included in the design process?
  • What are things that you as a designer currently do, or want to do, to address the challenges people with disabilities have when using things you design and produce?
  • As a design educator, how do you integrate accessibility and universal design into your teaching and instruction?

Please join us in this discussion to further the universal experience people have with design.

 

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Great thanks to Elizabeth and Aaris for organizing this event and for working to raise awareness. And thanks to the AIGA, Liz Jackson, Neil Ward, and Bo Campbell of IBM.

Perhaps we can advocate for incorporating critical content into courses such as Design Thinking, Intro to Design & Culture, Critical Perspectives, Web Design 1, Mobile Design 1, and any intro to communication design course. I'm hoping Industrial Design and Architecture courses are addressing these issues as well.

I incorporate desktop and mobile web and app accessibility into my courses and coordinate with the Disability Services office at my university to see how my course content can align with their needs and students' needs. Over the years, I have tailored course content to address issues facing people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities.

 

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So glad to have a chance to begin talking about this.  As I mentioned on Saturday, I've been frustrated to see how few resources are available for college design teachers interested teaching access.  So it was great to meet so many like-minded people.

As I already said, this is very much a work in progress. Robin's suggestions about classes where this might be relevant are clear enough.  I've been working towards a publication that could be used by teachers.  But I'm thinking that it would be great to highlight anyone who already has built this into their syllabi and/or course projects that can be shared.  . . 

At the DI/AIGA event, Rebecca Mushtare pointed out that the RGD (Registered Graphic Designers) in Canada have published guidelines for designers to follow. I'm attaching that here for anyone who is interested. . .

RGD_AccessAbility_Handbook.pdf

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If anyone is already teaching this material, they should apply for a grant from Teach Access.  I'm attaching the call for applications but they have ten slots open for college professors teaching in New York City:

 

Teach Access will be awarding 20 grants of $5,000 each to faculty at institutions of higher education to develop modules, presentations, exercises, or curriculum enhancements or
 syllabus changes that infuse the fundamental concepts and skills of accessible design and development into existing technology- and design-focused courses.

These awards will be made to full-time, part-time, or adjunct faculty in computer science, design, user experience research, human-computer interaction, and related fields at higher education institutions in the U.S. (with ten reserved for faculty at New York City-based colleges and universities).

Today the 
Awards Overview and Call for Proposals went live on our site and we will be accepting submissions through June 4 at 5pm ET, with awardees to be announced in late June for courses to be taught from the Fall of 2018 through the Spring of 2019. Please consider applying if you meet the eligibility requirements, or share this announcement with faculty members who may be interested in including the teaching of accessibility principles in their courses. Please also share the Call for Proposals link on your social media accounts to help us get the word out!

 

Teach Access Curriculum grant.pdf

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Thanks to all involved in making the discussion and workshop happen. I learned so much, and look forward to learning more.

Robin's idea of incorporating this topic into existing classes is great. Do you think students would also be interested in a standalone event (discussion/lecture/workshop), similar to what we did last weekend?

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