Why should students with disabilities consider studying design fields?

Date Updated

According to Building a World Fit for People: Designers with Disabilities at Work, design itself is improved when individuals with disabilities participate as designers. Designers with disabilities found that "living with a disability while thinking about improving designed spaces had heightened their thoughtfulness, determination, maturity, problem-solving skills, empathy, aesthetic consciousness, kinesthetic awareness and social justice in design." The creativity they had developed to live well as an individual with a disability aided them in being successful in careers in design fields.

For students with disabilities interested in a creative career path, design fields like architecture, interior design, apparel design, landscape architecture, and graphic design can be great career choices. Design careers are creative fields that allow an individual to create work that fulfills others' needs, according to an article titled What is Design? by the Institute for Human Centered Design.

Inaccessible studio spaces and activities are often listed as reasons why some students with disabilities are not fully included or encouraged to pursue design. The incorporation of technology and universal design strategies can eliminate or minimize potential barriers so that students with all types of disabilities can participate and succeed in design classes.

AccessDesign has been developed in partnership with Access to Design Professions, Institute for Human Centered Design, (IHCD) Boston, MA and funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).