Why Designing for Disability Helps Everyone


Did you know that the first typewriter was created in 1808 by Pellegrino Turri to help his blind lover? Or that…the telephone and email were originally invented to help people with hearing loss? And that the OXO kitchenware brand was created because Sam Farber wanted to help his wife who had arthritis hold a potato peeler? 

When we design for extremes, we often come up with solutions that are better than when we design for the norm. And people with disabilities are great examples of extreme users. Their unique experiences help uncover needs that would otherwise be overlooked. This is why some of the most innovative solutions of our time has seen has come from designing around disability.

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Fast Co's Article, 'Microsoft's Radical Bet on a New Type of Design Thinking: By Studying Underserved Communities, the Tech Giant Hopes to Improve the User Experience for Everyone.'

David Livermore's Book, Driven By Difference: How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity