Google I/O and Live Caption

What a fabulous Google I/O! There was so much goodness packed into such a short time. My week started off with meeting a blast form the past, Bradee Evans, my brother’s college girlfriend who has been integral in inserting inclusive design practices at Figma. She’s also done some amazing stuff at Adobe (check out her presentation at Apple on Photoshop’s integration with their touch bar). I’ve always looked up to her and will continue to do so.

I arrived at the I/O conference on Tuesday and was immediately impressed with all the people that were there and all the ideas circling. An added bonus was that Google’s opening keynote address featured Live Caption a project that I worked with Google and my favorite Deaf advocate, KR Lui. I continue to be impressed by Google’s commitment to inclusion.

One of the best experiences was seeing the “design for one, extend to many” theme front and center for their new Google Experiments project. Project Euphonia, an AI project at Google that “helps speech-impaired users communicate faster and gain independence” was also released during the session where I gave my keynote. And finally, don’t forget to check out an interview that I did with Google’s Timothy Jordan below.

Whew!

Vincent Cerf

Have you ever met someone and walked away feeling that you were just in the midst of true greatness? Well, that’s how I felt meeting Vincent Cerf, inventor of email and co-founder of the internet. Cerf who himself has a hearing loss also married a Deaf woman. This led him to create email. It’s one of my favorite inclusive design stories. I had the immense honor of speaking with him during this interview and jamming together about different inclusive design ideas.

Designing for Inclusion: Learning from the Ability in Disability

When we analyze our designs for disability, we spend so much time looking at the “dis” in disability and not the “ability” in it. This is because this is what the word is about - a lack of something. Indeed, the Latin prefix “dis” means “having… a negative or reversing force.” When we do this, however, we are missing valuable insights that can be gained by also looking to people with disabilities’ abilities.

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Opposites Attract in UX

I recently sat down with NPR’s design team to discuss their user experience. Those of you who know that I am deaf might be scratching your head. NPR is an organization that has positioned itself heavily in the audio realm. So for them to look to a deaf designer to help them with their UX may seem a little…well, weird. But it is exactly where they should be looking. We learn in design thinking that we should be looking to extremes to help us uncover our most interesting and valuable solutions. And hearing loss is the exact opposite end of the audio focused spectrum.

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