• Alessio Ferracuti

Inclusion Design and Digital Diversity at CodeClan in Glasgow

Digital diversity and autism at work

Did you know that 70% of Autistic people have a higher IQ than average people? So why the hell are we not hiring people with disabilities?

Including people with disabilities in work environments, as well as designing products for them, is what we talked about last night at the digital diversity group event at CodeClan in Glasgow.

A mind opening event! Last night I learned that autistic people can work very well in an environment, and unlikely most of the population, they easily become passionate about the work they do. A recent research has shown that a group of autistic people is TWICE as productive than a group of non autistic people in a work environment....The unemployment rate for autistic people is high at the moment, and only a few companies are taking this into their own hands and leading by example... one of these is JPMorgan Chase & Co. which has begun a graduate program for autistic people. 

Hiring people suffering from autism is not just an exemplary initiative, but also a new, more efficient and diverse agile way of working, which digital companies should be aware of.

Inclusion Design for people with disabilities

After a 15 minutes break of Salmon with crackers and networking, we also had a chance to have a deep look at inclusion design (last night was referred to products designed for people with disabilities).

A senior UX/UI designer named Sara came to talk to us about how most products are designed for people who do not have disabilities and automatically exclude those who are disable. Sara explained us about the paradox of specificity, which is a fundamental concept for UX designers. This concept consists in designing something for a specific design target based on its needs, and not age, colour or nationality. Basically, by designing something for a specific group of people (like disable people), the product and its features will eventually accommodate the rest of the population as well.

Microsoft recently designed a video-games Joystick, which can be easily used by disable and not disable people. Well done Microsoft! not only you have taken into consideration other people's needs (which stands by my UX design principles) but you also expanded your market opportunities thanks to the Xbox adaptive controller, which will not exclude anyone.

Thanks for reading this article, I hope you gained some knowledge regarding this topic. Feel free to read the links mentioned in the article as they deeply explain what I just summarized.