Title: Mainstreaming accessibility? Multidisciplinary problems or technical solutions

Authors: Suzette Keith, Gill Whitney

Addresses: Design for All Research Group, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT, UK. ' Design for All Research Group, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT, UK

Abstract: The use of the design for all philosophy at all stages of the process of specification, design and management of ICT systems and products fosters an understanding of user diversity and supports the quality of life of older and disabled people. Future ICT professionals, including web developers, will therefore require training in the social and technical aspects of design for all. We here present the development of a curriculum in design for all which is intended to enable them to understand the philosophy, empathise with users with different needs to their own, and address the relevant software and hardware challenges. We conclude with a discussion on how mainstreaming accessibility within technology courses is a critical key to the success of digital inclusion policy. However, it must be noted the multidisciplinary nature of design for all represents a challenge to the way ICT technology knowledge and skills are currently constructed.

Keywords: design for all; DfA; information technology; communication technology; ICT; accessibility; design education; digital inclusion; user diversity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKWI.2011.038628

International Journal of Knowledge and Web Intelligence, 2011 Vol.2 No.1, pp.53 - 63

Published online: 07 Mar 2015 *

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