10 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2016
    1. However, by working to meet the needs of disabled people—and by working with disabled people through usability testing—the digital humanities community will also benefit significantly as it rethinks its assumptions about how digital devices could and should work with and for people.

      In the end, universal design is meant to help everyone. The innovations that come from trying to make digital media accesible could end up changing how we all consume and interact with media. By failing to adhere to universal design, creators are "dooming" society's growth and prosperity. Technical writers can use this information to think about how we present information and how we communicate to people who may not be able bodied. Learning how to communicate to different kids of people is an essential to technical communication. Universal design allows for personal and societal growth. It should not be ignored. We should all make a better effort as creators to make things more accessible.

    2. Fourth and finally, it is the right thing to do.

      I think this hits the nail on the head when it comes to universal design. It's just the right thing to do; being inclusive is just the morally sound thing to do. In primary school, we are taught to play with everyone and include everyone in birthday parties, games of tag, and giving out valentines. Why should that stop especially when by neglecting a portion of the population, we are in turn withholding information that is accessible to able bodied people around the globe? Technology shouldn't be used to disregard or neglect people. Technology is for and should be accessible to everyone. As technical writers, we need to think about what the purpose of technology is and why using it to withhold information from a certain type of person is, in a sense, failing to do our job.

    3. Furthermore, those more likely to use a mobile device for online access include African Americans, Hispanics, and individuals from lower-income households (Smith, 10). If the digital humanities is to create resources accessible by a diverse array of people, then compatibility with mobile devices is a necessity.

      This is such an interesting point because it diverges from a conversation about accessibility for people with disabilities and introduces the classists ways of our society. If websites can not be use on mobile devices and that is all some families have because of the high cost of computers and laptops, then you lose the audience that doesn't have access to a desktop or laptop, either in one moment or at all. This is a problem that I have with website designers. Even though, I am an able bodied consumer with both a laptop and mobile devices, I find it irritating at times when I can't pull up a website fully on my iPhone. The question comes down to: are creators aware that they are alienating potential audiences when they neglect to worry about accessibility?

      For one of my other classes, my final project is to create a website. I know as a consumer that I want my website to be able to be accessed on mobile devices and will do usability testing to make sure. And now after reading this article, I believe that I should think about all possible audiences including people with disabilities as well when creating my website so I'm part of the solution and not the problem.

    4. Second, universal design is efficient.

      Again, the curb cut outs ended up helping everyone. While I understand that time is precious and time is money, but innovation is forever and necessary for the growth of our society. The time that it takes to conceptualize and create a plan for accessibility is important to a large part of your possible audience. Why wouldn't you take the time to make your creation accessible?

    5. Universal design is design that involves conscious decisions about accessibility for all, and it is a philosophy that should be adopted more widely by digital humanities scholars.

      I think the idea of consciously thinking about accessibility is a big one. It can not be an afterthought, but rather a forethought. "How can we make sure this is readily accessible to any possible audience?" is the question that should be answered in conception, not production. If we as creators take the time to ask ourselves this question, imagine how much more would be available to all of our fellow humans? Just like how Netflix offers its movies and shows in different languages, we need to really consider how our creations as technical writers can reach all possible audiences.

    6. Devoting efforts to accessibility might improve the built environment for disabled people, but devoting efforts to universal design improves the built environment for all people. Mace cites the example of the automatic garage door opener as a consumer product created with universal design principles: it is affordable; it appeals to and is useful to people both with and without disabilities.

      Any innovation is good innovation! Creating things to improve the built environment in the long run will help many kinds of people. I think about Siri and any intelligent personal assistant software and if their creators realized how awesome Siri could be for people who might be visually impaired. Were they thinking about them or just able bodied consumers? Whatever the case may be, that innovation ended serving a greater good than intended.

    7. The term “universal design” was invented by architect Ronald Mace, founder of North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Center for Universal Design.

      I wanted to learn more about Mace and how he coined the term "universal design", and I found this website from the RL Mace Universal Design Institute that further explains the principles behind universal design. It was fascinating to see that universal design is meant for not only disabled people, but really, for everyone. Having right and left handed scissors available in classrooms would be considered universal design, and so does wheelchair accessibility in public buildings, which Williams talks about later in the reading; the use of curb cut outs were to allow people in wheelchairs to use sidewalks more easily but it was really helpful to delivery people, parents with strollers, and in reality, everyone.

      The goal of universal design and the principles behind it aren't just about people with disability but anyone that might one day have a hardship. That's why we should care about it because we all one day will need it.

    8. Digital knowledge tools that assume everyone approaches information with the same abilities and using the same methods risk excluding a large percentage of people.

      Forgetting who you are creating for and what the purpose is is a big "no no" for anyone who studies rhetoric. Excluding large parts of your audience can be detrimental in any scenario. That's why I think that identifying and considering your audience is the first priority when creating anything that could be accessible to the public.

    9. This situation would be much improved if more projects embraced the concept of universal design, the idea that we should always keep the largest possible audience in mind as we make design decisions, ensuring that our final product serves the needs of those with disabilities as well as those without.

      Inclusivity in creation and technology should be a goal in all creators' minds. The internet is for everyone! Technology is for everyone! Universal design and considering the largest possible audience is a great start to creating things that everyone can, and should be able to, use.

    10. As a result, many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

      While considering audience, it is important to consider that not everyone who could come across your work will be able bodied. I think that Williams is very correct in saying that the disabled are neglected by digital content creators. Possibly because we as a society neglect the disabled in many aspects of our day to day lives. The internet and technology in general should not be included as there are a necessity now in everyone's lives. We should strive to be inclusive as possible while creating any digital work.