Digital designers often do not make their work accessible (e.g., websites failing criteria set by the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), and accessible design research discusses many solutions to address this problem (e.g., teaching accessibility within university design and technical courses). However, prior research in this area typically does not acknowledge whether recommendations and resources to support accessible design are suitable for all digital designers due to different training pathways and job support structures (e.g., large-company vs. rural and self-employed designers or designers who learned their skills outside of formal education settings). We interviewed 20 digital designers from rural and urban areas, as well as working from home and remotely, to understand the challenges they experience in making accessible content within the context of their workplace. We find that job support structures mediate the effectiveness of current accessible design recommendations and resources, and we suggest how to improve accessible design support to meet the needs of under-resourced designers.

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RIT – Main Campus