Preventing Disability Dongles: Evaluating Disability-Engaged Design

Workshop Description:

At The Disabled List, one of the first things we ask ourselves when we encounter a new product, service or campaign ‘for’ disabled people is: ‘Who is this really for? Who is it intended to reach?’ Far too often, we realize that we’re looking at a ‘Disability Dongle’—a design solution to a problem that non-disabled experts have decided disabled people must face.

During this 90 minute interactive workshop, participants will review examples of products and media that center disability, to discover what the brands were trying to accomplish, who their target user was, and whether or not they achieved their goals. They will also consider converse examples of accessible product designs that become reinterpreted in the public imagination as emblems of laziness or excessive consumption, and how this reinterpretation happens. Finally, they will learn about how a disability-engaged, research-driven approach to design can foster innovation, by reorienting the aim of design from ‘finding answers’ to ‘asking questions’.

About the Workshop Host Group:

The Disabled List is a disability-led design consultancy and self-advocacy organization. We engage in disability as a creative practice, and believe that accessibility is an opportunity for creative innovation.

Our work is backed by the theoretical, historical, and social frameworks of disability studies—a fast-growing, global field of scholarship that is shifting outdated disability narratives both in and outside of academia. This approach allows us to practice what we call “knowledgeable fearlessness” as we foreground disability in marketing, product, and UX-driven contexts. Our team is comprised of service designers, UX researchers, branding specialists, and disabled experts who are captivated with design, and smitten with a disability-led future.

About the Workshop Host, Liz Jackson:

Liz Jackson

Founder, The Disabled List


Liz Jackson is the founder of The Disabled List, a design organization that engages in disability as a creative practice. She is also a curator at Critical Axis, a community driven project that collects and analyzes disability representation in media. In 2018, Jackson created The WITH Fellowship, which partners disabled creatives with top design studios and creative spaces for three-month fellowships. You can learn more about Liz in her personal website, The Girl with the Purple Cane

Social Media Handles:


Twitter Personal:

Twitter Org:

Instagram Personal:

Instagram Org:


Org Website:

When & Where
Thu, Nov 14, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM CST
AIA Kansas City
1801 McGee Street
#Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64108