Accessibility Research and Testing with People with Disabilities: why it matters and why current practices need to change by Sam Proulx 

"Nothing about us without us”: to design truly accessible products, the voices of people with disabilities must be heard in every aspect of user research and design. In this talk, Samuel Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist at Fable, will discuss how best to make these voices heard. We will show some of the ways inclusive design is done well, and some of the ways it goes wrong.

Fable has conducted over five thousand hours of research, testing, and inclusive design, involving people with disabilities. During this work, we’ve learned a lot about the best ways to collect feedback, how to empower users to participate in the design and development process, and what methodologies best enable collaboration between researchers, developers, designers, and users. In this talk, we’ll cover the things we’ve learned, and include practical tips on subjects including:

  • Recruiting
  • Online vs. in-person testing
  • Various research methods, and when best to use them:
    o Prototypes and how to test them
    o Unmoderated data collection and why it can be helpful
    o What makes a good user interview
  • Compensation, and how it often goes wrong
    o How and why to include a wide variety of participants
    o Why qualitative research is so important in accessibility testing

By the end of this talk, you will be equipped with tools, techniques, and information you need to consider before beginning your next research project, to ensure it is as inclusive and impactful as possible. Do you have any accessibilityaccessibility in all aspects of life and is a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the digital world. Sam brings his previous experience as Fable’s community manager, plus life-long advocacy for himself and others, to his role as Evangelist. 

Samuel Proulx smiling at the camera in front of a navy blue wall
Sam Proulx

Samuel's bio

Samuel Proulx is the Accessibility Evangelist at Fable, a leading accessibility testing platform powered by people with disabilities. As a blind individual, Sam knows and values the importance of accessibility in all aspects of life and is a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the digital world. Sam brings his previous experience as Fable’s community manager, plus life-long advocacy for himself and others, to his role as Evangelist.