Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Inaccessible Surveys

by Donna J. Jodhan

For the past few months, I have been receiving a lot of feedback from both readers and clients on the subject of inaccessible surveys. Here is the problem: Many survey companies invite participants to complete surveys online but according to what I am hearing, many of these surveys have not been designed with the accessibility factor in mind. Accordingly, the feedback and comments of blind, deaf/blind, vision impaired, and print disabled participants are being left out.

I would like to think that this is not a purposeful admission; rather a grave and inadvertent admission. I have been told that when the survey companies are asked about the accessibility factor the majority of them admit to not having thought about it. With a rapidly aging population and an increase in the number of persons being afflicted with vision, hearing, and physical challenges, it may not be a bad idea for research and survey companies to start looking into the accessibility factor. In other words, how to make their surveys and research such that persons with disabilities are included. For after all, their voices and opinions should count as well should it not?

It seems to be an unfortunate and common occurrence for surveyors and researchers to exclude the voices and opinions of persons with disabilities. I am not sure why; I do have my own opinions but I'll leave it up to you to be the judge.

What do I mean when I talk about the accessibility factor? In short; designing research studies and surveys so that persons with disabilities can participate. That they could have the ability to complete forms without having to depend on sighted assistance and that they do not need to ask for help when reading the related information. Time for researchers and surveyors to start changing their methods of information gathering.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

1 comment:

Jim said...

Just to be cross-disability about this, keep in mind how many surveys are done by phone, with no recognition of the need to include deaf and hard of hearing respondents.

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