Universal Design

How does designing for users with and without disabilities shape student design thinking?

How do student designers regard disability? How does designing for both users who are disabled and non-disabled encourage students to think about accessibility throughout the design process? These are the questions researchers at the University of Washington (UW) investigated via a design course study.

Industrial Design Studio Projects: A Promising Practice in Teaching Students the Value of Engaging Users with Disabilities

As part of a design project in a sophomore Industrial Design studio class at the Georgia Institute of Technology, students completed a project on assistive design. The objective of the project was to apply user-centered design strategies to design a product to meet a specific need for a user with a disability. Each student was required to identify potential barriers in a given scenario and then to design and fabricate a working product prototype to address the barrier.

Multisensory Engineering Experiences: A Promising Practice for Preparing Students for College

The 2016 Engineering Experience for High School Students with Visual Impairments or Blindness at North Carolina State University (NCSU) aimed to prepare students with visual impairments or blindness for college by engaging them in engineering activities, identifying assistive technology that may help them navigate college life, and introducing them to mentors.

Making Design Reviews Accessible to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Participants: A Promising Practice in Engineering Education

Design reviews are a common part of engineering education practice. In design reviews, students or student teams present their work to their classmates, instructors, and sometimes a panel of users or external experts for feedback and commentary. This practice gains formative feedback from multiple perspectives on a student’s project to ultimately strengthen both the project and the student’s communication and technical skills as engineers.

Where can I learn about best practices for making accessible mobile and web apps?

The Teach Access Tutorial provides best practices for making accessible mobile and web apps. Via hands-on exercises and reference guides, tutorial users can learn about aspects of writing accessible code like headings, image tags, keyboard navigation and ARIA standards as well as design principles for accessibility related to color contrast, text size, and conveying meaning through color.