Beyond Barriers with Swaroop

Beyond Barriers - An Accessibility Podcast - With Swaroop Biswas - Head of Experience Design

In a captivating episode of our "Beyond Barriers" podcast, Swaroop Biswas, Head of Experience Design for Hexaware in India and Asia Pacific, shared profound insights into the challenges and nuances of digital accessibility. 

Swaroop, who is also an accomplished artist, brought a unique perspective to the conversation, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity in design and the broader implications of accessibility in our increasingly digital world.

Understanding Accessibility as a Human Question

Swaroop began by framing accessibility as a fundamental human question, stressing that it is about how we treat individuals and their conditions. He highlighted the often overlooked fact that traditional design norms are centered around a 'majoritarian' view, which inevitably excludes those who do not fit into this majority. "The structure of what you create for each other, for people with different abilities... is the crux of accessibility," Swaroop explained, underscoring the necessity to cater to diverse needs in a world where daily activities increasingly happen online.

The Democracy of Experience

Swaroop challenged listeners to consider whether everyone should have the same ability to experience media and technology. He pointed out the limitations of current designs and the potential to rethink how we provide experiences, especially in entertainment and technology. "Is there a democracy in experience? And should there be a democracy in experience?" Swaroop posed, indicating the complexity and controversy surrounding these questions.

Economic Potential in Accessibility

Swaroop argued against the misconception that individuals with disabilities lack buying power. He asserted that there are profitable ventures within the accessibility space because people with disabilities also have significant economic influence. He suggested that products specifically designed for various disabilities, like hearing aids for the hearing impaired, represent not only a fulfillment of accessibility needs but also substantial market opportunities.

The Challenge of Assumptions in Design

Throughout the conversation, Swaroop emphasized the dangers of designing based on assumptions. "Assumption is an absolute disaster in design," he stated, explaining that assumptions often lead to solutions that do not genuinely meet the needs of all users. He advocated for a design process that involves directly interacting with and understanding the needs of people with disabilities to create more effective and empathetic solutions.

Future of Accessibility

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Swaroop highlighted the importance of incorporating accessibility into the foundation of technology and design. He envisioned a future where technology could offer sensory experiences that replicate physical interactions, enhancing digital accessibility. Swaroop stressed the need for continuous learning and adaptation in design practices to better serve all individuals, regardless of their abilities.


Swaroop Biswas's insights on the "Beyond Barriers" podcast serve as a compelling call to action for all digital professionals to prioritize accessibility in their work. By embracing the diversity of human experience and recognizing the economic and ethical imperatives of accessibility, we can create a more inclusive digital world. As Swaroop eloquently put it, we must strive to understand and design for the needs of all individuals, thereby enriching our collective human experience through technology.

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