Diversity, Information Accessibility and Inclusive Design

As the avenues for accessing information develop and change, leaders in information science are striving to ensure that new systems meet the needs of as many users as possible. Research concerning diversity, information accessibility, and inclusive design strives to make information available to a wider range of people by identifying and eliminating barriers to information access. Increased information accessibility allows human users simpler and more effective ways of processing large volumes of information. Inclusive design furthers information accessibility by recognizing the diversity of users and designing tools and systems that address the needs of as many users as possible.

iSchool researchers are breaking down barriers to information access by broadening the scope of inclusive design, developing thoughtful policy recommendations, and advocating for users who face limitations in their ability to access information. Breakthroughs in areas such as wearable technology, inclusive web design, and auto-personalization of interfaces and information are opening new doors for information access. From policies that create equitable broadband internet access to touchscreens designed for users with motor skill limitations, iSchool research is making information more accessible for real-world users.

Applicability

The iSchool’s expertise in youth, learning and technology can assist in:
  • Designing technology that allows users with diverse abilities and skill sets to overcome hurdles and access information
  • Promoting policies that allow for equitable access to information services, including e-government services and the utilities needed to access information online
  • Ensuring that public libraries continue to serve as hubs of information access for all populations
  • Discovering the best ways to present complex information so that it can be more simply and easily accessed by all users
  • Developing new technologies and infrastructures that allow auto-personalization of interfaces and materials so that they are understandable and usable by each person individually

Projects in this area include

  • The Museum Experience of Children with Autism and Their Families: Improving Access through Web and Electronic Resources
  • Inclusive Wearable Technologies
  • HandSight Augmented Reality
  • The Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)

iSchool experts include

  • Jennifer Golbeck
  • Gail Bailey
  • John Carlo Bertot
  • Nicholas Diakopolous
  • Allison Durin
  • Niklas Elmqvist
  • Leah Findlater
  • Annette Goldsmith
  • Ursula Gorham
  • Renee Hill
  • Paul Jaeger
  • William Killam
  • Kari Kraus
  • Katy Lawely
  • Richard Marciano
  • Vera Rhodes
  • Katie Shilton
  • Ben Shneiderman
  • Beth St. Jean
  • Mega Subramaniam
  • Gregg Vanderheiden
  • Ann Weeks
College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
Room 4105 Hornbake Bldg, South Wing
4130 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20742
Tel: (301) 405.2038
Fax: (301) 314.9145
Contact the iSchool