Assistive Technology Diary: A UX Designer in Chicago Who Uses a Wheelchair

An Amazon AlexaNovember is Assistive Technology Awareness Month, and this being the last day of November, guest blogger Liz Davis is here to share an assistive technology journal she kept for us one day to remind everyone the important role assistive technology plays in the lives of people with disabilities. A UX Designer at QuikOrder in Chicago, Liz has used a wheelchair all her life. Her experience in dealing with the obstacles of an environment lacking accessibility has granted her a useful perspective in handling design.

Interested in sharing your assistive technology journal? Let us know in the comments!

by Liz Davis

  • 8:00 am: Use my phone as an alarm, or several alarms.
  • 8:30 am: Ask Alexa what the weather is outside and expected for today, so I know what type of gloves or a coat to wear.
  • 9:00 am: At the bus stop and use my transit app to check when the next bus will show up. If it’s a while I will sit under the bus stop shelter.
  • 9:30 am: Get into work and use my work laptop to check calendar of events and tasks for the day. Work until lunch time.
  • 12:00 pm: Use my phone to order food online and have it delivered to my office, or I’ll use it to place an order downstairs so I don’t have to carry it far. I always base my lunch choices on what food is easiest to carry.
  • 1 pm: Back at work on my laptop, sometimes I can take time to order anything I need online or groceries. Work until 5 pm.
  • 5 pm: I pull out Google Maps app on my phone to see how to get to an event I have after work. I plan out my route, and since I don’t trust Google Maps to tell me which stations are accessible I also double check on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) website.
  • 5:05 pm: I use Google Street view to see if the entrance is accessible by looking at it. If it’s not apparent it’s accessible I might give the place a call, or ask an event organizer. Either way I’d head out.
  • 5:10 pm: Use my phone to track how long it will be until the train arrives.
  • 5:30 pm: Use my Ventra card to get into the station and then roll onto the train.
  • 6:00 pm: Open up my route on Google Maps to roll the rest of the way to my event and find the accessible entrance. Sometimes it’s a game of find the elevator, or find the ramp.
  • 7:00 pm: Either head home on the bus or the train, whichever I find is the most accessible by checking my Google Maps + CTA Transit app.
  • 8:00 pm: Once I’m home I head downstairs to put my laundry in the washer and ask Alexa to remind me when 45 minutes are up so I can go down to collect my laundry.
  • 9:00 pm: Either use my laptop to catch up on personal emails or watch Netflix on my TV before bedtime.
  • 11:00 pm: Use my phone to double check my alarms, and go to sleep.

 

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