Designing ICTs for persons with disabilities, and intergenerational, universal usability

James William Yoon james.yoon at
Thu Apr 30 15:00:32 UTC 2009

Hi all,

Ran across an article from the latest issue of ACM Interactions (May/June)
that discussed the complexities of designing and testing for persons with
disabilities. The author himself is a person with disability, and he brings
up some important considerations. Great two-page read.

Some notable excerpts, in case you don't have time to read the article:

"Testing of designs often ignores persons with disabilities. When they are
included, their presence usually is limited to broad categories, such as one
person with a visual impairment. However, visual impairments include
complete blindness, limited vision, motion blindness, severe color
blindness, and other variations. Every type of disability includes such
layers. To truly test for equal access, not only must different types of
disabilities be accounted for, but different levels of each disability must
be considered as well."

"[T]he ways in which a person with a disability approaches an ICT will be
influenced by the age at which that individual first acquired a disability.
Someone born with a disability with perceive, adjust, accommodate, and
overcome challenges in a different manner from someone who acquires a
disability as a youth, as an adult, or as an older adult."

I've attached the article, and you can find the citation page here:

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