Introductions

August 5, 2022

Welcome to the working site for our upcoming book on universal design and web accessibility. We are very excited to be writing this book, especially at a time when web accessibility is taking hold in the user experience profession. Take a look at UX job postings and you will generally see accessibility listed among the job responsibilities, and familiarity with accessibility requires as one of the qualifications.

We have both been involved with web accessibility for some time, though on different tracks. Whitney has been closely involved with work on standards and guidelines, and has consulted with organizations on usability and accessibility. Sarah has been working in higher education most of her career building software, websites, and web applications to support teaching and learning and communications–with an eye to accessibility. We have admired each other’s work from afar but have not had the opportunity to work together until now. The very topic that has been guiding our approach to web design has brought us together to write this book. Very exciting!

As our book title suggests, our approach is rooted in universal design, described by
Ron Mace, design pioneer and founder of the Center for Universal Design, as:

“…the design of products and environments to be usable by all
people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation
or specialized design.”

Using a universal design framework, we strive to meet accessibility requirements without compromising design and functionality. A universal design approach is what we will be describing and illustrating through case studies in our book.

Universal Design for Web Accessibility will not be a technical reference. There are already many great books and sites with information about how to develop web sites and applications. The book will be focused on design principles to guide technical development, and we will describe and illustrate through case studies those principles. We also hope to inspire you with examples of innovative interfaces that utilize universal design for accessibility.

We’d love to hear from you. Is there a topic you’re especially interested in? Have you found a particularly good accessible user experience? Let us know.

Sarah and Whitney