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ARENA #8 - Accessibility

Published on 10 Oct, 2019

Welcome to ARENA, a free event packed with inspiration, learnings and hands-on action on some of the most relevant design topics of today and tomorrow. The topic for our 8th edition was Accessibility.

Most products and services nowadays are unfortunately not designed for all users. We are excited to see that people are becoming more and more conscious about this problem and good initiatives are emerging. For example, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which from 2020 will have to be taken into account for all websites.

But there's so much more than web accessibility! Especially when we think about services and all the dimensions that these entail. Is your door wide enough for a baby stroller? Do your safety measures take everyone into account? Is the experience you provide enjoyable for color blind people? Is your office easily reachable for someone with a broken leg?

As service designers we strongly believe in practicing human-centred design, and it is our duty to take ALL humans into account. All these problems can easily be solved if we tackle them from the start and not handle them as an afterthought. But if we don't take accessibility into consideration from the beginning, it impacts our organisation negatively and it’s very costly to implement later.

At Knight Moves we are very aware of how important this is and we are trying to integrate these guidelines into our workflow. That's also why we chose this topic for our eighth edition of ARENA.

Our speakers

For this evening, we invited two accessibility champions to share their expertise with us.

First on stage was Marie van Driessche, an interaction designer from VPRO in Amsterdam. Being Deaf herself, she shared first hand experiences interacting with digital products and some tips on how to make these more accessible for everyone.

Marie van Driessche addresses the audience with a presentation during ARENA.

Our second champion was Ben Carpenter, from Government Digital Service in the UK. He talked about the importance of availability and effectiveness when designing public services. He emphasised that services can never be perfect for everyone, but barriers should be as small as possible, and shared some insights about how they try to overcome these barriers.

Ben Carpenter addresses the audience during ARENA.

In case you missed something or would like to see the presentations of our champions again, we have uploaded them here.

We also had a very buzzing Marketplace! Many thanks to our merchants Eleven Ways, OPEN (Expertise Centre for Accessible Media and Culture), and Kurt from Konekt for bringing some more inspiration to the evening.

To finalise the evening, the Service Design Podcast hosted a Round Table Session. Keep an eye on their website to listen to the episode!

Two design experts interview Ben and Marie during a roundtable discussion.

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