“Stevie Wonders addresses the audience during the 2016 Grammy Awards ceremony.” Legendary singer and activist Nina Simone believed that the role of artists goes beyond the art they create: “How can I be an artist and not reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.” This idea came to life during the 2016 Grammy Awards ceremony when Stevie Wonder called for people of the world to “make every single thing accessible for every single person with disabilities.” While the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) outlaws discrimination against people with disabilities, there are still many areas of life that are inaccessible, including the digital world. Bias and negative attitudes continue to create barriers and limit expectations of what can be done to make a difference. So, what can we do? Being a reflection of the times is not just an artist’s duty, it is a responsibility we all share. The stuff we buy, the people we vote for, and the topics we discuss help to influence decision makers in government and business. In response to Stevie Wonder’s challenge, Chester Goad suggests 6 steps that each person can take. These are:

      (1) pay attention
      (2) be educated and educate others
      (3) be proactive, not reactive
      (4) avoid labels of “inspiration”
      (5) understand that disability is diversity
      (6) vet your creations.

One important opportunity for educating yourself and others is World Usability Day. On November 10th, 2016 advocates, students, professionals, government officials, and leaders will exchange ideas and showcase products with the goal of creating more user-friendly experiences in all areas of life, including education and technology. This year’s theme is sustainability. Just as Earth Day shows the world that the environment matters, World Usability shows the world that accessibility matters and that it is an important part of creating a sustainable future.
For more information about user experience (UX) design and Elizabeth Rosenzweig, the founder of World Usability Day, read Successful User Experience: Strategies and Roadmaps.

About the author Lauren Lange

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