Why and How to Include People With Disabilities in Your Usability Tests

The purpose of usability testing is to identify areas of a design that interfere with a user’s ability to use that product effectively, efficiently, and enjoyably. Therefore, we observe while a small group of representative users completes a set of tasks; however, rarely are people with disabilities included in usability tests. That is, unless the purpose is to specifically identify accessibility issues. Why do we keep these studies separate? Are people with disabilities not completing the same tasks as everyone else? Rather than separating usability and accessibility testing, or worse, not including people with disabilities in testing at all, why not simply include them as participants in your usability tests? In this presentation, we’ll show you how easy it can be to do just that and when it is most appropriate. While, yes, there are some extra considerations, usability testing with people with disabilities proves to be worthwhile.