Using Personas for Accessible Design

Handouts Media

Presented at 11:15am in Virtual C on Thursday, November 12, 2020.



  • Kathryn Weber-Hottleman, IT Accessibility Coordinator, University of Connecticut

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 45 minutes
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


One way of incorporating accessibility from the beginning of a solution's design is to use personas who are users with disabilities. Learn how to develop personas and scenarios that consider accessibility throughout a solution's design.


There are a few steps that developers and designers can take to incorporate accessibility from the beginning of a solution’s design. One way of doing this is to create additional personas that are users with disabilities. Also, having a primary persona with a disability means that disability will never be far from developers’ and designers’ minds. Another way to keep accessibility present is to include it in scenario design. There are multiple benefits to including characteristics of users with different disabilities and their needs in persona and scenario development. First, it saves time and money that would otherwise be spent remediating accessibility issues. It makes the solution available to all demographics, not inadvertently losing the users with disabilities market. It also aligns with organizational values of diversity and inclusion. Finally, it minimizes legal risk.


  1. Keep disability in the forefront of developers’ and designers' minds with personas with disabilities.
  2. Keep accessibility present by including it in scenario design.
  3. Make your primary persona a user with a disability.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Kathryn Weber-Hottleman

Kathryn Weber-Hottleman serves as the University of Connecticut’s IT Accessibility Coordinator, ensuring the University’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility, with particular focus on the University’s websites and online learning environments. She monitors University compliance with regulations and regulatory guidance specific to ICT and implements plans for enhancement in collaboration with other administrators, faculty and staff. She also provides guidance and assistance to campus departments in integrating accessible technology into the classroom and workplace environments and develops and implements staff and faculty training programs related to accessible technology and instruction for students and employees with disabilities.