Steps toward ethical and accessible design

Two digitally-drawn computer screens displaying coloured blocks.)
Two digitally-drawn computer screens displaying coloured blocks.

🔊🔊 Accessibility design can sound complicated, but its NOT! 

Whether you’re designing a website, service, tool, resource, anything—accessibility should be top-of-mind. 

We were inspired by artist  Pablo Stanely’s article “Designing for accessibility is not that hard.”

Stanley defines digital accessibility as, “the practice of building digital content and applications that can be used by a wide range of people, including individuals who have visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities.”

Even though Stanley’s article talks about digital accessibility, the same principles apply to any kind of design. From event invitations to PowerPoint slides, to handouts, to venue selection, literally e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

The article inspired us to check out the accessibility of our website. Using the tool Stanley recommended, we discovered 15 violations!! That sucks! And now that we know, we are working on fixing them. It might take a few hours but that’s a sweet tradeoff for big impact. If it means more people can access our website, we’re in. And you should be too. AXE is the free extension tool we used. 

We want to be transparent about our journey in implementing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) practices in our work. Small steps make big impacts, so join us on this journey. Be vocal about where you or your organization is lacking and then do better. Not only does accessible design align with EDI, it’s also ethical. 

Ethical design means considering the context of what you create, whether you’re an engineer building infrastructure or a student designing a web-portfolio. Click here for more on ethics in design and examples of unethical and inaccessible design.