2017 SXSW PanelPicker Submission
Yvonne So, Samantha Rembo
How Deep is Your
What is accessibility? What is a disability?
“...the degree to which a
product, service, or
environment is available to as
many people as possible.”
“...physical or mental
impairment that substantially
limits one or more major life
Types of disabilities
15% of the world’s
one billion people)
experience some form of
disability, and each of us
will likely encounter some
form of disability in our
• Mental Health
• Social Relationships
Why should I care?
Quick statistics on vision alone
1.3 million Americans have legal
More than 3 million Americans have
One in six Americans (17%, 16.5
million), 45 years and older, have some
form of vision impairment even when
wearing glasses or contact lenses
Vision impairment increases with age
(21%, age 65 and older)
How can we keep accessibility in mind
when making decisions about the things we
build for the public?
Understanding customer pain
As creative technologists of the future, in a rapidly advancing digital
world, we have the power to change the course of how we interact with
interfaces and emerging technologies to be more inclusive of everyone.
How do we begin?
In order to think of or provide innovative solutions for customer pain, we
must ﬁrst understand the pains that people with disabilities (1 billion
people in the world!) may face in the digital space, beyond today.
Empathy is key
Understanding disabilities, practicing accessibility, and
designing inclusively begins with getting deeply rooted in
“the ability to understand and share
the feelings of another.”
Why should I attend?
In this workshop, we will
expose attendees to unique,
individual human experiences
and challenges primarily in the
digital world, and discuss how
we can ﬁnd new and
innovative ways to solve or
simplify those challenges with
hands-on kits and activities.
Why should I attend?
You will have the opportunity
to try out different kinds of
toolkits and simulators that can
be used to depict certain types
of visual, auditory, physical
disabilities and learn how they
can be used within classrooms,
organizations, team meetings,
Why should I attend?
We will discuss how we can
turn our empathy into actual
and productive solutions for
the projects we work on.
How will this beneﬁt me
in my future?
By understanding the issues and
pains that users with disabilities go
through in the digital space, and
then learn about tools, simulators,
and existing technologies that can
be leveraged in our products and
services, we hope attendees will feel
more equipped and empowered to
go forth and create a better, more
accessible, more inclusive tomorrow.
What will I walk away with?
In addition to learning about the
importance of accessible design, we
hope for attendees to walk away from
this session understanding the
signiﬁcance of being deeply rooted
in empathy when approaching
creative problem solving, but also
just as importantly, how to keep
accessibility top of mind when
working in teams.
“Accessibility is a creative challenge,
not a challenge to creativity.”
Manifesto for Accessible User Experience
Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design
Design for Delight Empathy Map
Girls Who Code Summer Camp at Intuit
Special Needs and Abilities Network
Yvonne is a principal UX designer at Intuit currently
designing for its small business web and mobile
products. Prior to Intuit, Yvonne designed at Fjord,
BBH, and Publicis, working with a diverse range of
clients such as Purina, LG, Cartier, Citibank, Thomson
Reuters, eBay/Paypal, among others.
Accessible design has been a primary focus for
Yvonne ever since her days as a research associate at
the Accessibility Institute of University of Texas at
Austin. After graduating with a B.S. in Advertising,
she has continued to be an accessibility
advocate while crafting meaningful
product experiences in the worlds of
interactive media and digital design.
Samantha currently heads the Design and Research
Studios at Intuit, leading the team on transforming the
way we engage with customers and integrating customer
interactions and empathy into everyday lives. She is also
the global co-leader of Intuit’s Special Needs & Abilities
Outside of Intuit, Samantha is VP of the Board of
Directors for ASRA, Adaptive Sports and Recreation
Association, which provides sports and recreational
activities for children and adults with physical disabilities
to ensure opportunities equal to their able-bodied peers.
Samantha received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology
from SUNY Buffalo and a Master’s degree in
Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.