Shyamala on Universal Design


Shyamala takes us through a Universal Design process with three personas at her post "Universal Design"

She lists the seven principles with this introduction:

While designing, we need to keep in mind all set of users and this is where the concept of "Universal Design" comes into picture. The word "universal design" may seem simple, but it holds lots of concepts, principles, techniques and process from a designer's and end-user's perspective. Let's understand universal design in detail.

and concludes with this rights-oriented observation:

Irrespective of age, ability or disability and situations, every has the right to effectively use any products or services, hence designers should always be conscious about this fact and implement their design ideas to serve one and everyone. This is what universal design means.

The work we have done in Asia through ICAT 2005 and ICAT 2007 is set on the rights-based approach that was ultimately codified in Article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

It is encouraging to see a user interface developer and search engine optimization specialist like Shymala extrapolating from the virtual to the concrete world in the three examples she gives in here article. It is an extra bonus to see her bring the argument full circle to ground the theoretical in a vision of justice with a short article introducing a set of questions reaching beyond the questioner's body experience, a set of principles produced by those with the body experience being queried, a design process, examples of best practices.

Yes, Shyamla is right. Justice is what Universal Design is about - a justice that benefits all because it preferentially invests human appreciative inquiry, design process, and manufacturing toil specifically on the disability community.

That is intelligent and affirmative action.

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