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UDA Webinar 2022 Vol. 2 of 6

Breaking Down Barriers: Using Accessible and Universal Design for Greater Opportunities

John T. Drew

ICDE Executive Director
Professor of Graphic and Interactive Design 
Art Department, California State University, Fullerton

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “one in four adults live with some type of disability (22.5%).” These disabilities are both cognitive, visual, auditory, speech, physical, neurological, or situational, and exist in both the digital and built environments. For these individuals with disabilities, unintentional barriers are ever-present and create a lack of opportunity in both the digital and built environment. This discussion demonstrates how to use some of the tools, resources, and principles available to ensure a more accessible future for the visually impaired, color blind, and dyslexics (19% of the world’s population). Examples of both research and design work will guide the discussion, including how to predict the distance of typographic forms, icons, logos, and color on visual acuity for both 20/70 (visually impaired), 20/200 (legally blind), and 20/20 (normal vision).

Webinar Contents


Robert Hower
UDA President
University of Texas Arlington


John T. Drew
ICDE Executive Director
Professor of Graphic and Interactive Design 
Art Department, California State University, Fullerton

Discussion with all attendees

Final Remark by Mediator

About Presenter

John T. Drew is currently a Professor at California State University, Fullerton, the Executive Director and founder of the Innovation Center for Design Excellence, a 501(c)(3) non-profit), an Executive Director of United Designs Alliance (UDA) (an international organization), an Editorial Board Member for the international academic journal Design Behaviors (an international design journal). He has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, and The University of Utah, and has been a Visiting Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar, in the Communication Design Area. Professor Drew has served as the Vice-Chair of the Visual Arts Department and is currently serving as the Graphic and Interactive Design Graduate Coordinator. His university has recognized him on 13 occasions for his teaching, research, and writing. He is the Principal Investigator of the Innovation Center for Design Excellence White Paper on App Visual Accessibility (ICDE 2020), the co-author of Color Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers (Allworth Press 2012, Rotovison 2005); Choosing Color for Logos & Packaging: Solutions for 2D & 3D Designs (Rotovision 2009); Color Management for Packaging: A Comprehensive Guide for Graphic Designers (Rotovision 2008); Color Management for Logos (Rotovision 2006); Acuity Color Matching System (Rotovision 2005), and the coeditor and contributing author to Design Education in Progress: Process and Methodology (CDSCAD- Virginia Commonwealth University Press). His books have been translated into nine foreign languages (French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Polish, and South-East Asia, simplified English and English) and distributed to over 160 countries. Professor Drew holds a U.S. patent for The Effect of Distance on Typographic Form, Color, and Motion, is a lifetime honorary member of the Korean Brand Association, is a current lead visiting evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and has served as a Design Faculty Research Grant Reviewer for the National Steering Committee of the AIGA DEC (2013-2014). He has worked as a consultant for the South Korean Ministry of Transportation, Meadow River Enterprises, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to help develop low-light signage systems and legibility standards for permanent signage systems for the visually impaired. He has been an internal book reviewer for Laurence King Publishing Ltd., London, UK, and RotoVision Books, London, UK. His design work can be seen in numerous books, periodicals, magazines, catalogs, and journals, including, most notably Color Management, United Designs: Graphic Design Practices & Education, Working with Computer Typography 3: Color and Type, Typographic Specimens: The Great Typefaces, and Graphic Design: A Career Guide and Educational Directory, published by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Professor Drew’s design work is in the permanent collections of the Walker Gallery, the University of Nebraska at Kearny, and The Hanyang University of South Korea. He has written for Messages, AIArchitect’s, ACSAnews, Design Education in Progress: Process and Methodology, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, Revival of The Fittest: Digital Versions of Classic Typefaces, Why Design?: The Proceedings of The Hanyang International Design Conference, Journal for the Hanyang International Design Conference, Identity Systems, United Designs: Graphic Design Practices & Education, and Y Tristimulate Your Colors, Paper, ICOGRADA. His design work, teaching, and writing have been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Art Directors Club, Society for Environmental Graphic Design, The Society for Technical Communication, NightLine: NBC News, Grafik, Grafik Magazine, U.K., @cturs Graphiques, FR, Creation, F.R., and L’ Argus de la Presse, F.R. He is a Society for Environmental Graphic Design Educational Foundation Grant recipient. Professor Drew has been an educational board member for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). He is a current member of the College Arts Association, AIGA, and the Guild of Book Workers. He is a lifetime honorary member of The Korea Brand Identity Association. Professor Drew is the recipient of the California State University, Fullerton Outstanding Teacher Award, Four-time Outstanding Scholars Award, and Six-time Author Award. He has been a guest speaker for numerous events, including ICOGRADA Design Week in Daegu, South Korea, Society for Experiential Graphic Design, Chicago, and Keynote Speaker at the 25th Anniversary of the School of Design, Hanyang University. Professor Drew has worked at Kinitex: Graphic Communications, Inc., Graphix, Inc., All Night Bar, and Grill: Graphic Design, Inc., Engeman’s Dreamworks, Inc., Bremmer & Goris Communication, Inc., Vision Marketing, Inc., Rice Garder and Associates, Inc., Camera Room, and Ink, Inc., and Creso, Inc., as an Assistant Animator, Graphic Designer, U.I. and UX Designer, Art Director, and Partner.

In keeping with the UDA mission of celebrating global awareness and providing educational and professional opportunities in communication design, UDA offers webinars which are one of many activities to develop our design awareness in society and culture.