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This content is taken from the UAL Creative Computing Institute & Institute of Coding's online course, Introduction to UX and Accessible Design. Join the course to learn more.

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Accessibility is at the core of interface design and affects us all. Awareness of accessibility issues will give you the tools needed to identify when an interface is working or if it is not.

When we talk about accessibility, we mean the ease with which any person, regardless of ability or impairment, can use a given interface or service.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the word accessible as something that is “capable of being used or seen”. It also defines the word accessible in terms of something that is “easily used or accessed by people with disabilities” or “adapted for use by people with disabilities.”

When talking about disabilities with regard to accessibility, we encompass all forms of disability. That could be a permanent life-long disability, or it could be a temporary impairment of ability. When thinking about disabilities in this sense, it really applies to everyone. You will see later in this course that accessibility really affects everyone and increased focus and awareness of accessibility issues makes for better designed interfaces that benefits everyone who uses them.

Over the coming weeks, our team of educators and experts will contextualise the problems and issues that are currently being explored at the forefront of the field.

Mick Grierson

Mick is Research Leader at the UCL Creative Coding Institute, and will be your lead educator on this course. As well as his academic role, Mick is also an audiovisual artist and creative coder. He will tease out some of the issues that are prevalent within the field of accessible interface design. He will also discuss the impact that this work has on people’s daily lives.

Mick will be joined on the course by a host of experts from the world of user experience design and accessibility, who will give you insight into their own experiences and the skills they use in their day to day work. They include:

  • Nalini Edwards
    Nalini is a UX and UI designer working on creating an accessible web survey platform. She will discuss the work she is doing with people who have learning disabilities and autism.
  • Robyn Steward
    Robyn is an educator, researcher, author and musician, and will discuss her work educating people about autism and her experiences of being a creative practitioner and working with disabilities.
  • Dorota Chapko
    An expert data scientist and currently postdoctoral research fellow at Heart n Soul at The Hub, a research project that involves collaborations between artists and researchers – with and without learning disabilities. Dorota shares her understanding of accessibility and discusses her views on the importance of accessible interfaces.
  • Marcus Ophir
    Marcus is digital media developer and UX designer, who has worked extensively with web accessibility guidelines. He shares his insights into how web interfaces can be made more accessible.

Have your say

Can you think of ways in which accessible interface design affects the overall quality of the finished product?
How does a focus on accessibility create better interfaces for everyone?

Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to UX and Accessible Design

UAL Creative Computing Institute