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UX designers are vital in building a truly inclusive and user-friendly digital environment. The future of accessibility in UX design is about more than just ticking boxes; it’s about creating a world where everyone can navigate the digital landscape with ease and enjoyment.

Part five of our blog series on Accessibility in UX Design covered Testing for Accessibility in UX Design. Link to be added here after publishing. Here, we will discuss the future of accessibility in UX design.

Emerging Technologies and their Use in Accessibility

AI Powered Tools

AI holds great promise for advancing accessibility in UX design by automating testing, personalizing experiences, enhancing communication tools, and providing innovative solutions for a more inclusive digital future. AI can aid in identifying accessibility issues, suggesting solutions, and personalizing user experiences. Imagine AI chatbots offering real-time assistance for users with disabilities or AI-driven captioning, making video content universally accessible.  However, it’s crucial to approach AI development with a commitment to ethical considerations, avoiding biases and ensuring that AI-driven solutions genuinely improve accessibility for all users.

Haptic Feedback and Tactile Interfaces

These elements provide tactile cues for individuals with visual or auditory impairments, offering a more inclusive and immersive interaction. Advanced haptic technologies will allow nuanced feedback, guiding users through interfaces and confirming actions. Tactile interfaces, such as braille displays or touch-sensitive surfaces, will become more prevalent, catering to diverse user needs. As UX design evolves, a heightened focus on haptic and tactile considerations will contribute to creating digital experiences that are not only accessible but also engaging and intuitive for everyone.

Sign Language Recognition and Smart Glasses

Sign language recognition technology will empower deaf and hard-of-hearing users by translating sign language into text or speech. Smart glasses with augmented reality interfaces will provide real-time visual cues or subtitles, enhancing communication and comprehension. These innovations promise a more inclusive digital landscape, breaking down communication barriers for users with hearing impairments. Real-time sign language translation through devices like smart glasses could break down communication barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing. The convergence of sign language recognition and smart glasses will create intuitive, accessible interfaces, fostering a more inclusive and connected user experience for individuals with diverse needs.

Neurodiverse Design

Catering to a spectrum of cognitive abilities, this approach creates interfaces accommodating diverse neurodivergent users. Emphasizing clarity, simplicity, and customization, future UX designs will incorporate features to reduce sensory overload, offer customizable preferences, and enhance overall user comfort. Employing inclusive language and providing alternative interaction pathways, neurodiverse design aims to create digital environments that are welcoming and intuitive for individuals with varying cognitive processing styles. As the field evolves, prioritizing neurodiversity will become integral to ensuring universally accessible and user-friendly digital experiences.

Evolving Accessibility Regulations

Accessibility regulations in UX design constantly evolve to keep pace with new technologies and changing societal needs.


While WCAG 2.1 currently stands as the prevailing industry standard, WCAG 2.2 introduces additional requirements about target size, focus appearance, and related success criteria. Notably, it omits the 4.1.1 parsing criterion, which is currently obsolete. Although WCAG 2.2 offers insight into potential developments, it is not yet suitable as the foundational basis for policies and standards, given its draft status.

Looking ahead, WCAG 3 is on the horizon. Traditionally, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at W3C has maintained separate standards for web content (WCAG), user agents (UAAG), and authoring tools (ATAG). However, in response to advancing technology and the evolving needs of impaired users, WCAG 3 will integrate all three components and partially extend the guidelines of ATAG and UAAG. This integration does not render WCAG 2 obsolete; instead, WCAG 3 will build upon prior standards, offering a more comprehensive guide for all stakeholders. WCAG 3 entered a working draft stage in January 2021 and is anticipated to take several years before completion, with numerous open issues still under consideration.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (United States)

Enacted in 1998, Section 508 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act that specifically addresses electronic and information technology (EIT) accessibility for federal agencies. Its primary goal is to ensure that individuals with disabilities have comparable access to and use of federal electronic and information technology as their non-disabled counterparts.

Section 508 establishes standards for accessibility, detailing specific technical criteria that must be met by federal agencies when procuring, developing, maintaining, or using electronic and information technology. These standards cover software applications, websites, and telecommunications products. Compliance with Section 508 is mandatory for federal agencies. Non-compliance can result in legal consequences, including withholding funds and potential legal action.

Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) in the European Union

The Web Accessibility Directive is an initiative of the European Union aimed at harmonizing web accessibility standards across member states. It specifically addresses public sector websites and mobile applications, ensuring these digital services are accessible to all citizens, including those with disabilities.

The WAD outlines specific accessibility requirements and standards that public sector websites and mobile applications must meet. It incorporates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level AA, as the benchmark for accessibility compliance. Member states implement and enforce the directive within their national legal frameworks. Each member state is responsible for adopting and implementing the WAD into national legislation. National authorities are typically in charge of monitoring and ensuring compliance with the directive. Sanctions for non-compliance may vary among member states.

Accessibility regulations for mobile apps are still in their early stages of development, but they are gaining traction as mobile usage grows.

The UNBOX team is the UX COE at GS Lab | GAVS. The team focuses on the big picture while staying tuned to evolving trends, technologies, and human behavior. With about two decades of product engineering expertise, GS Lab | GAVS delivers best-in-class user experiences that drive product acceptance. To learn more about our User Experience Design services, please visit