Thursday 21st of May 2020 was Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD is an annual global event. The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.
At Centre for Inclusive Design digital accessibility is in our DNA. So this GAAD, we are launching our Inspiration Series.
We have curated a list of resources that our community find inspiring. Things to assist in furthering the conversations on accessibility for the uninitiated and those who live and breathe accessibility. While we have tried to include resources in a mix of modes, we acknowledge that not every resource is fully accessible for all as they are external sources. We have written below each recommendation what formats it is available in to assist you in finding recommendations suitable to you. We hope these resources help you help others to think, talk and learn more about digital inclusion.
So please, share the love. If you wish to provide feedback or share your own recommendations, please reach out to us and let us know what you would like to add and why you found it important.
Svetlana Kouznetsova, Accessibility Consultant
Annie Jean-Baptiste, Author & Founder of Equity Army
Recommendation: Ted Talk by Elise Roy (Video with multilingual captions and transcripts)
Why? I'd like to shout out Elise Roy's TED talk. Elise is an incredible person, teammate and has deep expertise in how building for underrepresented communities benefits everyone.
Greg Alchin, Inclusive Design Specialist (All Equal)
Recommendation: Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Homes. (Physical book available as well as ebook and audiobook)
Why? Mismatch is a thought provoking and well argued book that is presented in a very engaging manner. Kat Holmes presents concrete ideas and concepts on how the design of systems, technology, products, and the environment surrounding us shape our world and the people within it using past and present examples. I consider it to be an essential primer on Inclusive Design.
Lisa Annese, CEO at Diversity Council Australia (DCA)
Recommendations: Two episodes of the ‘The Art of Inclusion’ podcast - Thinking Outside the Box on Neurodiversity and Autism at Work and Willing and Able: A New Narrative for Disability. (Audio resource with transcript available)
Why? DCA have now created two series of The Art of Inclusion podcast to fill a gap in the conversations being had about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In the two episodes, we turn our attention to those who are differently abled. Unlike the usual practice of DCA to produce the data and the evidence, these episodes tell the story of what it is like to have a disability and how the workplace can truly benefit from the talents and skills of such individuals. We focus on the experience of being neuro-diverse and having a physical disability. We then focus on what employers can do to remove barriers for entry and progression.
Dr Scott Hollier, Digital Access Specialist
Recommendation: The free resource on the Centre for Accessibility website that was funded by an ILC project. (Web Page with text and video)
Why? Great for organisations starting the digital access journey.
Alan Bird, Global Business Development Leader at W3C
Recommendation: Web Accessibility and W3C Standards Video. (Video with transcript and multilingual captions available)
Why? I am often asked "What does Web Accessibility mean and why should I care?" This video, in a little over 4 minutes, outlines the value of putting accessibility into your website and shows you how doing so has a positive impact on the 1B people with disabilities. It is narrated by Shadi Abou-Zahra. I think that anyone studying Web Technologies in University, or those in organizations who are struggling to answer the internal questions around accessibility, is a solid and authoritative asset.
Léonie Watson, Director and Co-founder at Tetra Logical
Recommendation: The Inclusive Design Principles. (Webpage, available in five languages)
Why? Henny Swan, Ian Pouncey, Heydon Pickering and myself wrote ‘The Inclusive Design Principles’ to help people think about accessibility beyond WCAG and technical conformance.
Bem Le Hunte, Course Director - Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation
Recommendation: The radically inclusive teachings of The Swaraj University (Web page with text and images)
Why? "Imagine if the youth of today were equipped with the skills to deal creativity with complexity, uncertainty, collapse and change in the world," and "had a personal vision of and a commitment to building healthy and resilient communities and lifestyles?" Next, imagine if they "were able to put their ideas and dreams for social change into real action?" Next, imagine these skills are taught in a university that teaches radical inclusivity - has a faculty of hundreds of people teaching everything from expert fishing skills to lost crafts...and didn't require any qualifications for entry. I'm inspired by Swaraj University and other barefoot learning centres around the world that take learning way, way beyond the domain and control of the institutional setting. Check them out!
Andrew Arch, Principal Digital Accessibility Consultant at Intopia
Recommendation: Readability Guidelines - an international effort led by Content Design London. A web resource that was also published as The Readability Guidelines Book in late 2019 due to demand for a physical product. (Text based web page and book)
Why? Content is often ignored from an accessibility perspective, but is crucial to a user’s understanding and ability to interact in a digital world. We spend a lot of effort getting the design and code right, but much less effort getting the words right. This evidence-based resource can help everyone develop better content.
Gian Wild, CEO of Accessibility Oz
Recommendation: The Accessibility Factsheets were commissioned by Australian Government and have been released under Creative Commons and have detailed information on how to make certain content accessible.
Why? WCAG2 can be daunting and that’s why we worked with the Australian Government to develop these readable interpretations of how to make forms, images, interactive maps, mobile etc accessible, along with information on how inaccessible content affects people with disabilities.
Sonali Mathare, President, Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities
Recommendation: Inclusive Publishing Guidelines. (Text based webpage with external links)
Why? I have been fortunate enough to work and learn from accomplished colleagues and peers who are successful in spite of having limited access to accessible educational material. They have inspired me to make access to information a passion
Neil King, National Manager of Digital Access at Vision Australia
Recommendation: Empathy Prompts (Text-based website)
Why? The series of prompts can really help us understand what it’s like to have an array of different user needs. Each prompt is quick and easy to work through and provide links to additional resources to further your understanding.
Louisa Cameron, Human-Centred Designer and Co-Founder of Made Simpler
Recommendation: Vision Australia Blog Posts (Text-based website)
Why? With over 13 million Australians (55% of the total population) having one or more long-term eye conditions (ABS 2017–18), its important to keep abreast of accessibility and who better to learn from than the experts at vision Australia.
Lainey Feingold, Author and Disability Rights Lawyer
Recommendation: Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, by Haben Girma (physical book, audio book and e-book.)
Why: Impactful, interesting stories told with humour by and about a deaf-blind woman and her quest for inclusion and accessibility. Good reminder that accessibility and inclusive design are about people!
Jutta Treviranus, Director and Founder of the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute
Recommendation: Dana (Donella) Meadows’ Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Webpage with text and images)
Why: Dana Meadows died in 2001 but her prescient advice on “dancing with systems” is still relevant today. Inclusive design intervenes in a complex adaptive system and strives to find benefit for all. While Dana’s field was not inclusive design, she gives inspiring advice for what we call the "third dimension" of inclusive design.
Recommendation: Ursula Franklin’s The Real World of Technology (Webpage with text and images)
Why: Ursula provides a definition of technology that helps us to understand technology's relationship to power and inequity. She was a feminist and a pacifist who understood the undervalued knowledge of the heart and the hand. Accessibility is too often portrayed as black and white, Ursula’s perspective helps to add the nuance so we can better navigate the challenges and opportunities.
Daniel Murray, Founder & Director of Empathic Consulting
Recommendation: Aimee Mullins' 'My 12 Pairs of Legs' Ted Talk (Audio-visual resource with captioning and a transcript available)
Why? Far too often, our assessment of someone's capabilities is limited by our own ignorance. In this clip, Aimee Mullins reminds us that our beliefs can hold ourselves and others back. We label people with our own limitations and ignorance, this needs to change. Aimee shows us that we can all become superheroes if we can tap into our childhood creativity and dispel our limiting beliefs.
Manisha Amin, CfID CEO
Recommendation: Episode 360 of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast: The Universal Page. (Audio resource with transcript available)
Why? This episode of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast covers how braille was created. While the podcast is about a physical product, this podcast got me thinking about how divergent products can be when they are created by the person with lived experience, as opposed to for the person.
Scott Sumner, CfID Consultant
Recommendation: Episode 363 of the 99 Percent Invisible podcast: Invisible Women. (Podcast - audio resource with transcript available. Book - available as physical book, ebook and audio-book)
Why? This podcast is one of my favourite ways to introduce the concept of Inclusive Design to people. It shows how important it is to design with end users who are being excluded by the typical design process. The accompanying book is one of the best reads I’ve ever had.
Sam Yu, CfID UX Designer
Recommendation: Future is Code for Eugenics by Liz Jackson (2019 Core77 Conference) (Video with captions)
Why? The talk questions how design thinking can be a dangerous way to conduct design. Designers are often thought of as professionals or experts who come in and solve problems for people, which is inherently exclusive. Designers like to say they use empathy and speak on the behalf of others, which she argues is in fact silencing the disability community. Liz has a good anecdote about how Sam Farber is touted as the amazing designer who created the OXO good grips product 'for' his wife Betsy, when in fact Betsy was a designer herself who first developed the idea.
Eloise Cleary, CfID UX and Interaction Designer
Recommendation: Interview with Troy Waller, Learning Delivery and Accessibility Specialist at Microsoft. The topic is ‘Inclusive Software: How Technology Is Reducing Stigma And Creating Independence For Students With Dyslexia’. (Text only)
Why? It is always so interesting to hear Troy Waller discuss ‘The Inclusive Classroom’ and the development of Microsoft’s ‘Immersive Reader’ tools.
Christos Petrou, CfID Senior Accessibility Lead
Recommendation: It’s worth mentioning our collection of accessibility tools on our website and in particular the 3 Chrome plugins listed below. (Accessible webpage)
Why? They help website’s owners to fix a lot of accessibility issues before moving to audits and testing.
- Headings Map - An easy to use plug-in that helps show (and audit) the title and headings structure of a web page.
- Landmarks - Allows you to navigate a web page via WAI-ARIA landmarks, using the keyboard or a pop-up menu. The plugin is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers.
- axe - Web Accessibility Testing - Accessibility Checker for Developers in Chrome. Find accessibility defects on your website or web application by using the axe Chrome extension.