ADEPT Accessibility Briefs

ADEPT hosts a collection of accessibility briefs that outline topics that could be included in engineering curricula. This collection can be utilized by engineering faculty in their courses or by engineering students to further their understanding of accessibility. Students who submit materials to the collection will receive an honorarium and recognition of their contribution.

We continue to accept submissions from engineering students and professionals. Each brief should include an introduction, a summary, discussion question examples, resources, and project ideas. An example of the outline can be found online.

Current briefs can be found below.

  • A11Y for Software, Hardware, Web, and Robotic Interfaces
    Accessibility of interfaces is not only important for the web or computer software, it is also vital for effectively controlling hardware devices and robotics technologies. This brief includes the laws, challenges, and guidelines that shape how engineers and designers can create accessible products.​
  • Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)
    Many times conversation about accessibility focus on issues related to vision or mobility. This brief describes why and how it’s important that engineers also consider whether their designs are accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Accessibility of Engineering Tools
    Engineering students will encounter a variety of tools during their education. This brief explains an activity that allows engineering students to think critically about tool accessibility for students with disabilities.
  • Accessible Ideation
    Traditional ideation methods are not accessible for everyone. This brief describes an activity that explores how to engage in a variety of ideation methods and how to create a space for inclusive design.
  • Accessible Online Learning
    It’s critical to create accessible digital spaces within the classroom. This brief explains how online classes should be designed so they can be accessed by all, including people with a variety of disabilities.
  • Accessibility Reviews of Physical Spaces
    Students can gain a new appreciation for accessibility by thinking critically of the accessibility of spaces in their own community. This brief explains how, with just a basic training, students can use a critical eye to different spaces and how they can recommend changes.
  • Articles and Resource List on Accessibility and Universal Design
    There are myriad resources online that can be used in an engineering classroom to explore topics related to accessibility and disability. This brief introduces some resources you may like to share with students or colleagues to learn more about accessibility and inform discussions around these topics.
  • Assistive Robotics for Activities of Daily Living
    Though some assistive robots have been created in society, there is a high demand for robotic technologies to fully create a fulfilling and independent living for people with disabilities, especially in relation to tasks of activities of daily living (ADLs). This brief covers the growing needs for robots to help the growing population of people with disabilities and seniors live independently and safely in their own homes.
  • Assistive Technology
    ​Just like most people, people with disabilities use technology to read and write documents, communicate with others, and search for information on the Internet despite a number of issues that can make it difficult to use a computer. This brief describes different assistive technologies and how computer software, hardware, and websites should be designed with assistive technology in mind.
  • Building Empathy through Engaging People with Disabilities
    Disability simulation activities often leave participants with inaccurate perceptions of what it is like to have a disability. This brief discusses why it is problematic to run disability simulation activities and how to host a panel and engage with people with disabilities to learn more and build knowledge and empathy in the engineering design process.
  • Faculty Learning Community
    Many faculty express interest in forming a community to learn more and share ideas about accessibility, disability, and inclusivity. This brief shares steps that can be used to create a faculty learning community on your campus.
  • Makerspaces
    Many makerspaces have a social justice orientation that aims to increase access to “making” among the general community. This brief focuses on how makerspaces can promote accessibility and inclusion both in the ways they are designed as well as the opportunities they provide.
  • Personalized Design
    Personalized Design (PD) strives to address the needs of all people, all of the time, by adapting systems to the individual user's needs as opposed to the other way around. This brief covers the advantages and challenges of incorporating Personalized Design into engineering.
  • Universal Design
    Universal design (UD) consideration encourages engineers to design for all, creating products that are usable by the widest user base. This brief describes UD and how engineers can add it to their workflow.
  • Web Accessibility
    The internet is widely used to provide access to information and resources; however, if websites aren't designed accessibly, people with disabilities can often be kept from these resources. This brief shows how designers can follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to create accessible websites and provide access to all.