The following is a compendium of cross-disciplinary resources related, closely and otherwise, to designing for ability:
Written by an architecture professor at UC Berkeley, this book compiles the lessons learned during a 1970's design studio uniquely structured to get design students acquainted with designing for the disabled by having actual disabled people in the class. The lessons in this book are applicable to areas of design beyond architecture. Its rootedness in the architecture studio tests and examines design as methodology to reveal constraints and prejudices in very concrete ways. This book and the methodology it championed -- empathy before empathy was ever a buzzword -- is incredibly forward-thinking and preempts the approach that we take towards user experience today by examining the most essential relationship: the body in space.
Architecture can be enabling only if architects develop empathy -- not just empathy for the way forces settle to the ground or for how the idealized body stands upright and intact like a column, but for the way architecture enters into the lives of people, people we know and love, and others for whom we have not yet learned to care. This book is the story of an effort to make such a charge become an integral part of the study of architecture. We ask that we not allow the disabled to become the discarded.
Out of print, but available in whole here.
This 43 page interactive PDF created by the team at Microsoft attempts to reorient the reader towards "Inclusive Design." It starts off by explaining the nuances of disability and why we need to be able to design inclusively, with a concise and effective section on the history of disability and it's relation to society. It then sets success metrics for what inclusive design should feel like and integrates these into the design process.
The tips are broad and could be applied to designing for user experience in general. Additionally, there are no case studies or examples to see how the process would be applied to a product/service. This makes it difficult for someone who is first trying to do this to visualize the toolkit as anything more than a typical design strategy process with a history of disability section as an introduction.
40% Content; 60% Fluff.
Download PDF here.