Can we all agree that accessibility and good design go hand-in-hand?

When we create with accessibility in mind, it simply means that anyone could have a positive experience with our product, service, digital space, physical space — whatever the case may be.

Considerate designers, coders and builders already know this. It’s the reason we have fidget spinners and closed captions and those dips at the end of a sidewalk that make it easier to move (more on that in a second). All of these things may have originally been created for people with diverse abilities that are permanent, but it wasn’t long before we saw the benefits extend to people with temporary and even situational disabilities.

Going back to the sidewalk…

  • An older person with mobility issues who uses a scooter can scoot from sidewalk to sidewalk because someone thought to make a cut-out at the end of the curb. Their disability is permanent.
  • A person whose leg is broken and healing may rely on a wheelchair to get around, which is much easier when you don’t have to try to force your wheelchair up a curb. Their disability is temporary.
  • A parent whose hands are full while out running errands with their baby in the stroller is probably very happy not having to lug their kid over a curb every 5 minutes. Their disability is situational.

There are one billion people — 15% of the world’s population — that experience some form of disability, whether visible or non-visible. This example of the curb shows how designing for those one billion people actually results in a design that is better for everyone.

Designing for a diverse range of abilities — whether permanent, temporary or situational — creates better designs for everyone.

Deyra Jaye Fontaine, Inclusive Marketing Strategist

So, let’s retire the notion that accessibility is a “nice to have” and create a new norm where good design is accessible. Just like my favourite t-shirt says it is!

Deyra Jaye Fontaine smiles at the camera proudly while showing off her t-shirt that reads, "Good design is accessible". The shirt has symbols to represent neurodiverse, hearing impaired, vision impaired and mobility impaired peoples.