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Everyone’s Committed: Evaluating Accessibility Statements Across Design Systems

Bigge, Ryan (2024) Everyone’s Committed: Evaluating Accessibility Statements Across Design Systems. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Bigge, Ryan

While most organizations keep their accessibility guidelines private, many digital design systems are public. This allows researchers to study and compare how different systems situate and discuss accessibility. Through a content analysis of over 90 design systems, four different categories of accessibility value statements were identified: framing, modes of address, responsibilities, and commitments. Using critical discourse analysis, each category was assessed through the lens of value sensitive design, an approach focused on how the design process can better identify and debate key values such as ethics, human rights, and inclusion.

The four categories constructed were framing—statements inspired by universal design that included the word “everyone”; modes of address—statements containing the phrase “we believe”; responsibilities—statements that referred to employees of the host organization; and commitments, which contained a mix of ambiguous and unambiguous value statements.

The findings indicate that accessibility responsibilities and commitments are more likely to be successful when value statements contain clear language and specific associated actions. Related to this, accessibility value statements would benefit from a shift away from universal design and towards inclusive design to better identify and minimize the unintended consequences of exclusion. Finally, this research suggests that many accessibility statements reflect core aspects of value sensitive design without making direct reference to the approach, indicating potential overlap.

Date: 2024
Uncontrolled Keywords: design systems, value sensitive design, inclusive design, accessibility
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 19:13
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 19:13
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4406

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