UW CSE professor Richard Ladner penned the cover article for the March/April 2015 issue of Interactions Magazine, the flagship publication of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI). In the article, “Design for User Empowerment,” he advocates that users of technology who have disabilities should be empowered to solve their own accessibility problems, drawing on nearly 10 years of experience at the helm of the National Science Foundation-supported AccessComputing alliance.
Richard explains how, with self-determination and technical expertise, people with disabilities can analyze, design, build and test technologies that suit their specific needs. He promotes the concept of universal design, in which interactive systems can be easily configured to be usable by people with varying abilities without having to rely on third-party assistive technologies.
“A person who is disabled and has the right technical expertise has the power to solve their own accessibility problems,” Richard writes. “The key to technical expertise is access to education, the cornerstone of innovation and progress.”
Read the full article here.