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May 11, 2021
Portland Accessibility and User Experience Meetup (PDX A11Y UX) - Whole-to-Part versus Part-to-Whole: How Sighted and Blind Web Navigation Differs

When loading a web page, a sighted page visitor can take in almost all information at a glance and home in on what they want to explore — a whole-to-part approach. A blind screen reader user, on the other hand, must reverse the process and gather bits of information through page exploration to create the full picture — a part-to-whole approach. If sighted design stakeholders are not mindful of the differences in these strategies, they may disregard helpful bits of information that allow the most efficient exploration and understanding for blind visitors. Using parallels from pedestrian navigation such as the importance of “landmarks” and “boundaries,” our presenter Dr. Michele A. Williams will help create common ground between sighted and blind communities to ensure blind screen reader users are best accommodated in Web and other digital design.

Event begins at 6:00pm; join early starting at 5:45pm for networking.


  • 5:45–6:00pm Networking
  • 6:00–6:15pm Introductions & announcements
  • 6:15–7:00pm Presentation
  • 7:00–7:30pm Q&A and discussion
  • 7:30–7:45pm Wrap up

About the presenter:

Dr. Michele A. Williams has 15 years of academic and industrial experience in UX, accessibility, and technology. She is passionate about ensuring people with disabilities are not excluded from technology. Her well-rounded experience includes training, design consultation, field research with people with disabilities, and code remediation for building WCAG-compliant technology.

Dr. Williams holds a B.S. in Computer Science, Masters of Software Engineering with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction, and PhD in Human-Centered Computing with a focus on accessibility. Along with industry project contributions, her research and designs have resulted in several cited publications, international presentations, and a patent application (see LinkedIn for more details).

Coupling her passion with her expertise, she now offers consulting services including accessibility training for UX professionals and key stakeholders, and project advising including research facilitation and design consultation. Contact her for a consultation experience tailored to your needs. More about Dr. Williams' work on her website or follow her on Twitter.