Inclusive Design

Link to module

Evaluated December 2021

This module includes an in-class activity that critiques the design of a mobile phone app and then introduces inclusive design principles with a focus on inclusive design principles as they related to different models of disability. It has students develop an Inclusive Design Statement for the product that they are developing as a part of the course. It aims to reorient the way students see technical products and, thus, design them differently. This module is best and most easily integrated into a course on software/interface design and HCI where the design and development of a project is already part of the course. The module is also well-situated for courses on accessibility and technology and general engineering design courses. It will take a single class period to cover this module.

It covers material in Human-Computer Interaction/Foundations.

The module lays out the goals of the assignment and identifies the key philosophical questions that the students are expected to grapple with. It prepares students to incorporate the principles of inclusive design into the final project for the course. An instructor adopting this module will be responsible for identifying reading materials that will introduce students to the principles of inclusive design and to the social and relational models of disability that are part of this module. With that background, student will be better poised for success in this module. In the delivery of this module in the classroom, a faculty person would want to consider the existing interdisciplinary discussions about the framing of disability and accessibility, and then explore how a shift to thinking about accessibility opens to door to broader discussions that include gender, race, and ethnicity. Faculty adopting this module will have an opportunity to collaborate with both faculty and staff on campus who work in disability studies, accessibility, or those who work on interpreting access.

An instructor adopting this module will also need to develop their own assessment tool for both the in-class activity and the Inclusive Design section in their final project write-up. The way the questions have been created, it would be possible for the faculty person to assess either the critique phase or the analysis phase of this assignment.


The evaluation of this module was led by Darakhshan Mir and Colleen Greer as part of the Mozilla Foundation Responsible Computer Science Challenge. Patrick Anderson, Emanuelle Burton, Judy Goldsmith, Jaye Nias, Evan Peck, and Marty J. Wolf also made contributions. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.