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ACCESS-ed Resource Description

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White paper: conducting user evaluations with people with disabilities

Usable Access is the IBM practice of incorporating User-Centered Design methodologies with accessibility initiatives in order to increase a products' ease of use for people with disabilities. This guide details the current IBM best practices for incorporating users with disabilities into usability testing activities and outlines future work in the area.

IBM

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It took me several years of struggling with the heavy door to my building, sometimes having to wait until a person stronger came along, to realize that the door was an accessibility problem, not only for me, but for others as well. And I did not notice, until one of my students pointed it out, that the lack of signs that could be read from a distance at my university forced people with mobility impairments to expend a lot of energy unnecessarily, searching for rooms and offices. Although I have encountered this difficulty myself on days when walking was exhausting to me, I interpreted it, automatically, as a problem arising from my illness (as I did with the door), rather than as a problem arising from the built environment having been created for too narrow a range of people and situations.

Susan Wendell, author of
The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on Disability