Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Research Study on Blind People's Document formatting Skills Seeks Participants

RantWoman probably actually has too much vision to participate in this study but in the interest of not biasing the feedback, RantWoman first presents a clean version of the announcement pasted as selected from her Gmail inbox with no adjustments for paragraphs, etc:

We are researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz. We are
investigating ways in which tools may assist blind people with tasks related
to document formatting. As a first step, we need to gather information about
document formatting practices, errors and barriers of blind persons. To do
this, we need to collect a large number and variety of documents that were
created and formatted by blind persons (with at most some light perception)
without help from sighted persons.
Please help us by providing documents (at least
3 pages long) that you have created with any word processor (Microsoft Word,
Apple Pages, etc.) and formatted without help from a sighted person.
We will run a drawing for two $50 Amazon gift certificates as a token of
appreciation for those who provide at least five documents that follow the
previous criteria.
Note: As this is a National Science Foundation study, we follow a strict
rule of maintaining your and your documents confidentiality and destroying
documents after the study is finished.
If you are interested in helping, please email your documents or any
questions regarding the study to:
Also, if you know someone who fits the criteria and might be interested in
helping us, please forward this post. We really appreciate your help.
Thank you for your time.
Best regards,
Lourdes M. Morales Villaverde
Computer Science Ph.D. Student
Interactive Systems for Individuals with Special Needs (ISIS) Lab Baskin
School of Engineering University of California, Santa Cruz

Nevertheless, if you or someone you know fit the criteria, sign the heck up!

Readers who have scrolled this far get the following additional comments:
--RantWoman gets plenty of documents created by sighted people that show no command of even modest formatting niceties such as headings, never mind accessibility featurs for forms .

--RantWoman interacts with plenty of PDF's whose creators have no concept of the various accessibility nuances associated with PDF's.

--Just today RantWoman had anotehr of her Death by Powerpoint experiences. The sin: printing on black and white without checking for meaningful contrast. Whine.

--Readers of RantWoman's blogs will note that she herself has not bothered to pay attention to options for bulleted lists and tends to do as this post does on aregular basis.

--RantWoman's blogs are a natural product created with uneven visual attention to formatting. Sometimes all RantWoman does is reread with JAWS. Other times if RantWoman has more visual energy more visual niceties may occur. RantWoman does not really have any frame of reference as far as how other blind bloggers handle visual presentation. Plus the study criteria specify documents created with a word- processing tool, not a blogging tool.

RantWoman has newly discovered that Google docs ALMOST works with her screen reader; RantWoman wonders whether Google Docs count.

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