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Establishing Design Principles to Center Accessibility into Everyday Decisions

February 22, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. EST (1 Hour Long)

Libraries are meant for everyone. While libraries have long claimed this to be true, exclusionary practices and inaccessible systems still exist and are extremely difficult to fully eradicate. The act of methodically creating a culture of accessibility hinges on each member of an organization as they seek to ask constructive questions and make decisions that pull the organization in a unified direction. In an attempt to infuse accessibility into the culture at the University of Virginia Library, the library used a collaborative process to establish and adopt a system of four design principles. If exclusionary practices and inaccessible systems can be designed, we can learn to recognize them, so they can be redesigned. Using these design principles as organizational values to guide conversations can mean less time establishing a shared understanding of the problems at hand, and thus lead to more focused, effective, and inclusive solutions. This process seeks to help empower individuals and departments to act in ways in which they can engage in real change. Through this webinar, participants will learn more about the concept of design principles, including how they can be useful in cultivating intentionally accessible environments, and will come away with tools for beginning these conversations at their own institutions. 

  • Elyse Girard: Executive Director of Communications and User Experience, University of Virginia Library
  • Amber Reichert: Director of Content Strategy, University of Virginia Library
  • Christopher Welte: Director of User Experience Design, University of Virginia Library