As we already mentioned, we sometimes use capability simulation in order to think about interaction in terms of disabilty. That means, we try to (make people) experience certain “disabilities” in order to rethink concepts of interaction design. By systematically reducing abilities to interact with a product/system we help to empathise with the process of hindered product interaction.
To give you an idea of what capability simulation is about, take a quick look at this clip we found, of some students who were tasked with experiencing three different disabilities to inform them on how to design a universally accessible museum exhibit. The three disabilities they tried to experience were carpal tunnel syndrome, ADHD and chronic knee pain.
However, whether you use physical or software simulators, those can never truly model a live with a particular capability reduction on an everyday basis. As the guys at inclusivedesigntoolkit.com mention: “In addition, the decline in cognitive ability, and the effect of the user’s past experience cannot be meaningfully reproduced by simulation. Simulators are helpful to increase empathy with users who have reduced capability, but should never be considered as a replacement for involving real people with such losses.”