Accessibility in Design Hinges on “Uncovering” Ourselves

About

Obsessed with humans and how they communicate and interact with each other and their environments, Stacey has spent over 22 years in the industry, creating for and strategizing with people of all sorts. Curiosity has driven her to explore patterns and anomalies she comes across in her professional people-watching and eavesdropping, looking for ways to use these observations in pursuit of making life better and more comfortable – whatever that may mean in a given situation. Stacey received her B.A. from Bennington College and MHCID from the University of California, Irvine, and is currently a UX Lead at IBM, in San Jose, California.

 

Accessibility in Design Hinges on “Uncovering” Ourselves

According to longitudinal research performed by Google on what makes for high-performing teams, and confirmed by my own and my colleagues’ experiences, the common thread is a sense of psychological safety on the team – the sense that it’s okay to learn from mistakes and it’s okay to be yourself, whatever that may mean. Creating that feeling of safety on a team, and by extension, a whole enterprise, takes work and the first step is allowing our true and whole selves to shine. The benefits of doing this for our own health and wellness are innumerable, yet it’s the value we bring to our teams that ends up actually helping the business’ bottom line. We can help others to feel that they can do the same – stop “covering” up what is perceived as a flaw and embrace their whole and true selves.

Taking lessons and tips from Kenji Yoshino’s concept of covering, where people conceal part of their identity in order to fit in, this open conversation with participants demonstrates the importance of creating an environment where we feel free to bring our authentic selves to work, and will provide the opportunity for attendees to contribute their own covering stories.

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