This paper describes strategies for incorporating changes in the design curriculum that address the need for graduate designers to be aware of, and to engage in, inclusive design practices that can help to promote the social sustainability of virtual communities. It is argued, that despite the advances in recent years, many Web designers are still unaware of the factors that impact on the social sustainability of virtual communities and are not skilled in the techniques required to engage in inclusive design practices. Academics have a significant responsibility for ensuring that the design curriculum provides students with an understanding of their ethical and social obligations as future designers, and equips them with the technical skills required to create fully compliant sites that are accessible to diverse audiences. A case study which describes the development of an undergraduate design program that promotes inclusive design practice in the curricula of three courses offered within the program is presented and the benefits for students completing these courses and the communities with which they engage through their program of study are discussed.
|Keywords:||Social Sustainability, Web Design, Usability, Accessibility, Virtual Communities, Undergraduate Design Curriculum|
Program Director (Media Arts), School of Communication, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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