[orca-list] Call for participants: research study about Web accessibility standards


My name is Alison Benjamin, and I am a Master’s of Information candidate at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. I have received permission to post to this mailing list from its administrator, Willie Walker.

I am seeking participants for a study I am conducting as a part of my thesis work. My study is entitled: The force of standards and guidelines in Web accessibility work.

As a Web developer or designer, you may be familiar with the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). If you have ever used WAI standards and guidelines (e.g. WCAG, ATAG, UAAG, WAI-ARIA, HTML, CSS), you may be interested in participating in my study, which explores if and how Web developers and designers incorporate aspects of the WAI in their day-to-day work.

Participating in this study involves taking part in one approximately 1 hour long semi-structured interview with myself, either in-person at the University of Toronto, over the phone, or at a location of your choosing.

To qualify, you must have some experience designing or developing Web sites and/or “Web 2.0” applications (e.g. have been involved in at least one project of this nature).   Over the course of the interview, you will be asked to share your views on how and when (if at all) you incorporate accessibility guidelines, standards, and policies in your design and development work. You may also be asked to share accessibility documentation you use in your work, such as WAI Webpages, best practice or accessibility statement documents, or personal protocols you follow.

Approximately 10-15 participants will be interviewed in total. The results of my study will provide perspectives on how guidelines and standards are used in a variety of approaches to Web accessibility. Interviews are currently scheduled to take place between the months of December 2009 and February 2010 and will be scheduled at a time and location of your convenience. Interviews can occur over the phone if needed.

All information gathered in this study will remain completely confidential. Any confidential or identifying information about participants will be anonymized and only myself and my supervisor will have access to the original data collected. This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance from the Office of Research Ethics at the University of Toronto.

If you are interested in participating in this study, or would like to discuss my study or this letter, please contact me at: alison benjamin utoronto ca. Alternatively, you may contact my supervisor for this study, Dr. Stephen Hockema, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information: steve hockema utoronto ca; phone: 416-978-7110.

Thank you!
Alison Benjamin
Masters of Information candidate
Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

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