Accessibility and Inclusive Design: A University of Washington Master Class

Technological growth is driven by fast-paced innovation. While such advances as artificial intelligence and virtual reality capture our attention, the majority of the sites and apps that we rely on every day don't meet basic accessibility standards.

The University of Washington's Communication Leadership and Human Centered Design and Engineering graduate programs want to start a conversation about this. We are partnering for the first time to co-host a “Master Class” on the principles of inclusive design and ways to apply those practices to content strategy and interaction design. We are intentionally inviting industry professionals and graduate students to join us for this daylong learning experience to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

What attendees can expect

  • You will hear from accessibility advocates and leading experts, including Kat Holmes, author of Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design.
  • You will get a sense of the basic principles of inclusive design.
  • You will participate in hands-on learning activities that will contextualize concepts that will be presented.
  • You will get to network with industry professionals and graduate students.
  • You will leave with some tools that will help you implement your learnings.

Speakers and agenda

The day will include hands-on learning opportunities and insights from industry experts. Featured presentations include:

  • "Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design" — Kat Holmes, Founder of and Director of User Experience at Google. Developing inclusive practices in company culture and in the design process is challenging. In this AI age, inclusive design is a way to build solutions that reach broader audiences and minimize exclusion. By testing our assumptions about inclusion it becomes a necessary guide - and an economic imperative.
  • Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. Director, UW Accessible Technology & Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (DO-IT)
  • "#WhyDescribe: How to Make Accessible Video for Social Media" — Anna Zivarts, Program Director, Rooted in Rights.
  • "Making Facebook Marketplace Accessible" — Elizabeth Rifer and Cristin Carey, Content Strategy and UX Research at Facebook. Millions of people buy and sell on Facebook Marketplace and inclusion is important to ensure equal access. Learn how the Marketplace UX team addresses accessibility - specifically vision impairment - and how to use these practices in any product development.
  • "Augmented Reality and Accessibility" — Leah Findlater, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design and Engineering.

Additional presentations to be announced.


We are committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for this event. For accommodation requests, please contact Molly Schachter at

When & Where
Thu, Apr 18, 2019 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
University of Washington Maple Hall - Great Room
1101 NE Campus Pkwy
Seattle, WA 98105