Published: Special issue on disability and technical communication

The exterior of the Lou Ruovo Center for Brain Health, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The metal exterior is warped and wavy. The entire building is folding in on itself as it defies the rules of gravity and modern architecture.

I guest edited a special issue of Communication Design Quarterly on “Reimagining Disability and Accessibility in Technical and Professional Communication” (volume 6, issue 4, December 2018).

The issue includes an introduction and three articles on a range of cutting edge topics, including lip reading and interface design, subtitling and video accessibility across multiple languages, and cultivating virtuous course designers.

Browse the special issue: CDQ 6.4 (pdf).

A note on pdf accessibility: The issue’s contributors carefully prepared their Word documents to be accessible when converted to PDFs by including alt text for figures and semantic tagging for headings. Access to these features was lost when the Word files were formatted to the journal’s specifications. As a workaround, I integrated authors’ alt text into their figure captions. After the issue was published, I took some time with the published version of the issue to 1) run Adobe’s accessibility wizard, 2) manually tag all headings and tables, 3) fix reading order in places, and 4) test with a screen reader. I believe this version is much more screen reader friendly, but please let me know if any of the content in this pdf is inaccessible (

Image credit: “Architecture on LSD” by snowpeak is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

S. Zdenek

Dr. Sean Zdenek is an associate professor of technical and professional writing at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2015).