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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Accessibility for Designers, Where They Work

Date & Time
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 11:20 AM PST  
Platinum 7-8  

The session will cover user research and testing methods, identify key findings, and critique pre-existing assumptions about how designers work and what kind of materials they need to create more accessible designs. We will briefly talk about design disciplines to orient unfamiliar users. We will establish a simple sample design and show how it matures throughout the presentation by using the offerings we demonstrate.

We will discuss digital design platforms generally, and Sketch and Figma in particular, identifying considerations for how they can be used to shift accessibility left in the development lifecycle, and the challenges of accessibility in IBM’s open source Carbon Design System, and relate those to general considerations for design systems.

We will spend significant time examining the implementation of an accessibility Sketch kit for Carbon, and discuss the method by which IBM identified considerations for each of the components in Carbon’s design system. We will examine how the process not only created documentation but identified future considerations for many components. We will show how the new material in the Carbon Design System allows a designer to rapidly understand what Carbon bakes in and what annotations they need to provide.

This Presentation Link is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of April 1, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Media & Publishing
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Accessibility guidance is developer-biased and text heavy. To shift left, IBM established that designers want visual guidance available in the tools they already use, and need clarity on exactly when and how to provide accessibility annotations. We created a free Sketch kit and open-source Carbon component guidance to address this.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Design
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Product Demonstration
  • Web


  • Michael Gower
    IBM Design
  • Jessica Lin
    IBM Accessibility

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