Disability Driving Innovation

A really solid read on disability and innovation, including a story I’d not heard about the origins of Apple’s touchscreen technology.

Lead user design instead identifies extreme users with serious unmet needs. Most of us do not navigate the world like PWD, but we do navigate the world, and their experiences can inform ours. Many people could all use mice and keyboards, but only when a person with a disability came up with a touchscreen did the rest of us understand how useful it could be for us.

I can’t say I’ve heard of lead user design before (user-lead design, sure, but I’m guessing that lead user design is pronounced LEED, not LED).

Money quotation for the entire article, one that will surely resonate with students I’m teaching accessible web design to this semester:

we need to recognize a disability not as a medical condition but as a mismatch in capabilities