Hi Jessica — I actually gave a talk at CSUN in March with David Fazio on this very topic (doing UX with PwDs). There are a number of important considerations for that type of research, not the least of which is you can’t do A/B testing on paper with people who are blind. You need to have an app/website that is at least nominally switch and screen reader accessible to ask PwDs “OK, how can I improve this?”

If you are asking me which is MORE important, I probably think employing PwDs is the more important of the two (with the understanding that this is like asking a mother which child is their favorite). When you have an employee with a disability, they will be able to provide continuous input and be a force behind making the company in general more accessible. Also having a person with a disability moderating the UX research typically gets better results since the participants are more likely to open up to someone similarly situated, even if the disabilities are completely different.

Blogger, disability advocate, nerd. Bringing the fire on ableism. A11y Architect @ VMware. Wheelchair user w/ a deaf daughter. CS, Law, and Business background

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store