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School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering

Access Technology Survey

"Access Technology Survey"

Staff and funding

Principal investigator: Prof Helen Petrie
Research staff: Valerie Johnson
Funding to the Centre: £35,000
Funding source: RNIB
Duration: from September 2001 to December 2002

Project description

Little detailed information is currently available about the levels of use of different types of access technologies by blind and partially sighted people in the UK. Nothing is known about their levels of satisfaction with the technologies they do use, the usability problems encountered or the gaps which they perceive in these technologies. If such information were available, it could be used by the RNIB and other organizations of and for blind and partially sighted people, in a variety of ways. For example, it could be useful in campaigning for greater employment of blind and partially sighted people. It could also be helpful in advising current providers of access technologies, as well as those with ideas for new access technologies, about where their efforts should be focussed.

In order to obtain this information, the Access Technology Survey will ultimately interview around 100 blind and partially sighted people. Interviews are currently being conducted either in person or by telephone. The interviews are exploring the kinds of access technology people are currently using and their satisfaction with it, as well as any problems they encounter. In addition, suggestions are being sought regarding areas where there may be an unmet need for access technology and people are encouraged to discuss their frustrations regarding lack of accessibility as well as to talk about areas where they feel that access technologies have really enhanced their lives. Finally, information is being sought concerning the attitudes of blind and partially sighted people to access technologies generally.

Project collaborators