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Re: Research on Accessibility

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 17:51:57 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <199804162151.RAA08747@access2.digex.net>
To: a.elliott@hud.ac.uk (Andrea Elliott)
Cc: w3c-wai-rc@w3.org
to follow up on what Andrea Elliott said:

> My name is Andrea and I am doing a Masters Degree in Disability
> Studies at Leeds University (UK).

Wonderful!

> I would like to produce a questionnaire and place it on the net
> and ask disabled people to complete it. The questionnaire will
> ask them to look at several major websites in the UK (probably
> utility related) and ask them to report back on the
> accessibility of these websites.

This is scary.

How much have you talked to blind Web users?

I fear that asking volunteer evaluators to undergo the hardship
of wrestling with a web form will radically restrict your ability
to tap their knowledge.  Please reconsider.  Seriously search for
a sponsor for the phone time to talk to your respondents instead.
Or at least prominently offer a plain-text email option for the
web form.

> Do any of the list members know of any similar research that
> has been undertaken in the past?  If so, please can you point me
> in the right direction.

The bibliography in the Page Author Guidelines is a good start.

Maryvonne Lumley <maryv@minster.cs.york.ac.uk> did a similar
study seeking understanding of colour effects in web sites by a
rather ambitious web contstruction.  You might check to see how
she fared.

You may have done the following already; here is my checklist for
things you should have done before you set the scope of your
investigation and decide the clinical details of how you will
collect data.

	- spend some time in the lab with people using adaptive
	technology to browse the web

	- interview a few expert computer and web access evaluators
	such as
		Patrick Burke <burke@ucla.edu>
		Neal Ewers <ewers@trace.wisc.edu>
		Kelly Ford <kford@teleport.com>

Al Gilman
Received on Thursday, 16 April 1998 17:51:47 UTC

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