Recommended Books on Accessibility Design, Inclusive Design, and Universal Design

Book Recommendations

Recommended Books on Accessibility Design, Inclusive Design, and Universal Design

When I first started graduate school and I wanted to learn more accessibility there really wasn’t a lot of literature out there.

Since then there have been a couple of great books that have come up on the topic and have impacted the way I think about design.

I wanted to share a list with you of my favorite books on the topic and I also included to that I have on my list to read next that I am very excited to dive into.

Now let’s go ahead and look at my list!

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design

The first book that comes highly highly recommended for all designers to read is Mismatch. This book was written by Kat Holmes who worked on the Inclusive Design team at Microsoft a couple year back and is now on the Google Inclusive Design team. Her whole book talks about the importance of inclusive design, what the principles are and how to apply the principles to the design process. I did a whole video on this book so if you want to learn more about this book you can watch the video below.

The Senses: Design Beyond Vision

The Senses is a catalog book that came from an exhibit I had the privilege of attending at the Cooper Hewitt in New York City. The whole exhibit was focused on showcasing products that were being created to really use all of our five senses instead of just relying on vision. Although the exhibit is no longer up I find this book to be very thought provoking and inspiring. I can look through the examples of this book and get so many ideas to work off of. It is also great to see what other people are doing to be inclusive of those in the disabled community. These products are innovative and really show a different way of solving common problems.

A Natural History of the Senses

This book was written by Diane Ackerman and is a thorough look of the senses. She shares examples how the senses has made an impact throughout the history of the world. This book really opened my eyes to thinking about how much we use our senses without even thinking about it.

Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design

This book is an excellent and fascinating read. I had a hard time putting this one down! It goes over so many modern examples of accessible design that people use on a daily basis regardless of their abilities. The history of how accessibility and design came about is covered in this book looking back at moments like World War 2. If you haven’t read this book, I suggest you read it and I guarantee you will learn something that will be helpful to you.

The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness

This book is a deep one. I found this book add so much value to my thinking on a user and how every user is different. The book speaks about how if we design for the average person there are whole groups of people who are naturally being excluded and we need to think outside the box on how we can design things that work for a wider range of people. This book helped me round my perspective of understanding the full range of people that exist in every aspect of design. A very important principle to understand early on!

Building For Everyone: Expand Your Market With Design Practices From Google’s Product Inclusion Team

This is one of the two books on my list to read soon. I am very excited to read it and understand better how a large company like Google thinks about inclusive design. I will definitely share my thoughts on this book once I have completed it.

Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind (Design Thinking)

This is the other book my reading list. I think this will be a good refresher on design thinking theory and will help with better understand inclusive design when it comes to digital products.

Let me know in the comments if there are books you think I should add to my reading list. Which books are you most excited to read?

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