About Sarah Horton

Photo of Sarah HortonSarah Horton focuses on ways to improve quality of life through good design.

Sarah is an independent consultant, helping organizations create “born accessible” technology. She is also an author of books, articles, and papers on designing technology to improve quality of life. She is also UX Strategy Lead at Harvard University. She is a W3C Invited Expert, participating in the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and the Silver Taskforce. She is also an Invited Expert with Teach Access and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Southampton.

Sarah spent 20 years working in technology and higher education. She started at the Yale Center for Advanced Instructional Media, creating award-winning interactive instructional software. She was an instructional technologist at Dartmouth College for 11 years before becoming Director of Web Strategy and Design, responsible for planning and developing Dartmouth’s digital environment and leading the web team. She then joined Harvard University as Web Strategy Project Lead, responsible for strategy and user experience design for the Harvard Web Publishing Initiative. 

In 2013, Sarah left higher education to focus on digital accessibility. She joined The Paciello Group as Director of User Experience and Design, leading efforts to build the consultancy’s user research and user experience design services. She transitioned to the role of Strategy Lead, guiding organizations on their digital accessibility journey. During her seven years with TPG, she performed design reviews and audits of websites, applications, apps, and devices, conducted user research and usability studies, and represented the company in improvement initiatives such as Teach Access and the Silver Taskforce.

In 2021, Sarah returned to higher education as Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK, joining the research team working on the Teaching Accessibility in the Digital Skill Set study at the Centre for Research in Inclusion at the Southampton Education School.

Sarah is co-author with Patrick Lynch of Web Style Guide, now in its fourth edition and translated into eight languages. Her second book, Web Teaching Guide, won the American Association of Publishers award for the Best Book in Computer Science in 2000. Her third book, Access by Design, combines the disciplines of universal design, accessibility, and usability into guidelines for designing websites that are universally usable. Her fourth book, A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences with Whitney Quesenbery, was published in 2014 by Rosenfeld Media. She has published articles, papers, and book chapters, including chapters in two editions of Web Accessibility: A Foundation for Research and articles in ACM Interactions and the New York Times.

She can be reached at sarah.horton@gmail.com and @gradualclearing.

Photo by Paul Horton, paulhortonvisuals.com