universal by design

James Craig at his deskThis ain’t your mom’s accessibility panel. This is how universal design benefits everyone, not just those with disabilities. Universal design is “design that is so thoughtful that it works for everyone from the start instead of needing to be ‘patched’ for the disabled.” The idea is to make a more enabled future for everyone, not just traditional disabled people.

The curb cuts (ramps) on sidewalks or roads are probably the best examples of universal design. Think about how many non-disabled people use those ramps for pushing strollers/prams, riding bikes or skateboards. This was a solution that helped everyone.

James Craig, Apple Inc
Tuesday, March 17

How does universal design connect to the concept of “quality of craft”? How does accessibility work its way into the design process instead of being put to the end of the process / next release (lazy developers)?

Accessibility is more like a design process (judgment) than a technical coding process (validation). Universal access tools can help augment the interactive/sensory experience. Standardistas and technogeeks are getting into accessibility as another tool in the toolkit, but universal design is a more integrated approach. It has to be more than a patch with a new tool.

Accessiblity: tty machines
Universal design: Text messaging

Sound icon: the sound of trash being emptied. Unobtrusive.

James went on to talk about the creator of the segway and the IBOT, who is working on cybernetic replacements.

Gesture Recognition

A game called Copycat to teach sign language to deaf children. Johnny Lee and turning a Wii remote into a gesture recognition program. Minority Report. If there is gesture recognition productivity apps, the movements will likely be more reserved and finger-oriented.

Haptic/BCI Examples

Feedback related to a sense of touch (output from the computer). Braille-on-the-back. Haptic Radar headband (University of Tokyo)–”meta-perception”. JORDY (Joint Optical Reflective DisplaY). F-35 haptic sensor body suit and helmet. Jim Jatich (spinal injury; implanted electrodes into his hand–first cybernetic human) had his brain signals recorded while thinking about moving his muscles, then were mapped to the electrodes in his hands so he built new muscle memory to regain movement. Brain-computer Interface (BCI). Matthew Nagel (spinal column injury)–Brain Gate: record patterns of brain activity and uses that muscle memory to communicate to a computer.

2 thoughts on “universal by design”

  1. That’s a good write-up. Thanks! One minor correction in the BCI section; the name you have written as “Jim Jack” is actually “Jim Jatich.”

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