The print version of Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design is available from

Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

Sponsored in part by:

Adobe   hp logo (invent)   RNIB

Welcome to the online version of Just Ask

The entire contents of the book is online here, and also available in a print version.

Improve your websites, software, hardware, and consumer products to make them more useful to more people in more situations.

Develop effective accessibility solutions efficiently.

Accessibility is designing products so that people with disabilities can use them. Accessibility makes user interfaces perceivable, operable, and understandable by people with a wide range of abilities, and people in a wide range of circumstances, environments, and conditions. Thus accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, and organizations that develop accessible products.


Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design provides:

About the Author

Shawn Henry leads worldwide education and outreach activities promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities at the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Shawn focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces.

What People are Saying About the Book

Shawn Henry lives and breathes accessibility. Her book is everything you'd expect it to be: straightforward, practical, rigorous, and uplifting.

— Jeffrey Zeldman, publisher and creative director of A List Apart, author of Designing with Web Standards .

It’s easy to read, clearly structured, and contains very useful tips that will help you make sure your websites, software, or hardware does not have significant accessibility barriers. take the time to read Just Ask - Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design. Doing so is definitely worth your time.

— Roger Johansson in a 456 Berea Street Book review.

Shawn Lawton Henry has provided us with a book that is readable, usable, useful, and engaging for practitioners in the usability analysis, user-interface and interaction design, and user-experience professions.
Even without the focus on accessibility, the book is a useful review of key steps in user-centered design. Its focus on accessibility during the entire user-centered design process... provides readers with a very down-to-earth, practical, and readable introduction to incorporating these concerns into daily professional practice.

— Aaron Marcus, from User Experience Magazine book review

Two titles I highly recommend this summer are Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design...
...replete with first-hand knowledge and recommendations.

— Cameron Moll, in Essential Summer Reading, Authentic Boredom

[Just Ask] tells you all you need to know about how to develop effective accessibility solutions efficiently within the user centred design process. It presents lots of different ways of including people with disabilities in user profiles, personas, user testing, etc. All very practical and well explained.
I’d highly recommend it.

— Mark Magennis, Ph.D., Director of the Centre for Inclusive Technology and chair of the Irish Internet Association (IIA) User Experience Working Group, in iia blog

Shawn Henry and I often disagree, but there is one topic that we always agree on - that creative, visual designers must make designing for web accessibility a part of their everyday work.
But how? And where should a designer best focus his or her efforts to gain maximum accessibility without compromising visual design and other aesthetics?
Now visual designers and others have a practical reference point for designing for accessibility. 'Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design'.
If you are just starting in accessibility or are a seasoned hand, there is much that you will learn from this book. I highly recommend it.

— Andy Clarke, founding designer of Stuff and Nonsense and author of Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design

Shawn has created an excellent book that is well presented, clearly laid out and notated, nicely designed and just looks extremely sleek. This book will find most use, I think, with people who already do testing of some nature but to whom accessibility is still a black art. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the field of accessibility, testing or are outside of those disciplines and want to have a better understanding of them.

— Ian Lloyd, in Accessify News blog & Book Review

The basic premise is that... instead of extrapolating what we think accessibility means, we need to see how people actually interact with assistive devices... In that regard, Just Ask is to accessibility what Getting Real is to project management.

Overall, this is an excellent book, and a must-read for anyone serious about thoroughly understanding web accessibility.

— Nathan Smith in Godbit Project book review

Shawn has done an excellent job crafting a readable, informative, practical resource on the user-centered design process from an accessibility standpoint. This book is a must-read for designers, product managers, and usability practitioners alike. It will improve your products!

— Sarah J. Swierenga, Ph.D., C.P.E., Director of the Michigan State University Usability & Accessibility Center

Thanks Shawn, Adobe, RNIB, [Mitsue-Links, SAP] and all for putting an important publication in an accessible format for everyone.

— Wayne Dick, Chair, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, CSU, Long Beach, WebAIM mailing list


Thank You Just Ask Sponsors: