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Re: Recruiting assistive technology users for usability testing

for

From: Jim Allan
Date: Apr 20, 2010 5:18PM


Another 2 cents...
Who's to say all users with disabilities use AT. There is a lot of people
with disabilities (self-declared or not, or may not be visible) who do not
use AT. They still have valuable input to share.

I like the idea of an 'all call for testing usability and accessibility'.

Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator & Webmaster
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice 512.206.9315 fax: 512.206.9264 http://www.tsbvi.edu/
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964




> -----Original Message-----
> From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto:webaim-forum-
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Karl Groves
> Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 3:57 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Recruiting assistive technology users for
> usability testing
>
> Angela,
>
> Human Resources people will (and for good cause, IMO) have a strongly
> negative reaction to such requests. I've seen this quite a bit,
> actually.
> Even though you know you're only asking this sort of thing so your
> client
> can better serve employees with disabilities, the HR staff sees this as
> a
> huge risk for employee complaints from multiple fronts. Consequently,
> you
> should expect that any requests for lists of employees with
> disabilities
> will gain no traction from HR at all.
>
> Some of this is venturing into legal territory, so take what I say with
> the understanding that it is coming only from being in the same
> situation
> before and also from being married to an HR Manager with the PHR
> Certification from SHRM, but not from any legal expertise of any kind.
>
> I see you having two options:
>
> 1) Send out a "Call for participants" to the company's internal
> distribution channels and word it in such a way that you're clear about
> being interested in testing for usability AND accessibility. Phrases
> such as "users of assistive technology" are still a no-no here, as it
> still puts the focus on the disabled employees and will get the HR
> people
> unhappy. Instead just keep it broadly worded. The catch here is that
> you
> have to keep this entire process as fair as possible. This isn't just
> about the HR department's fears of having complaints from employees
> with
> disabilities but also complaints of reverse discrimination as well
> (they'd
> say you're showing bias towards the employees with disabilities). In
> some
> ways, doing a study of usability and accessibility at the same time
> helps
> you maintain fairness. Note: sending an open recruiting notice but in
> the
> end using only users of assistive technologies will be a bias. Using a
> mix of participants just like any other study where you're recruiting
> participants who fit in with some pre-defined personas is the way to go
> here.
>
> 2) Recruit outsiders. The quickest and easiest way to avoid having the
> HR
> people get upset is to recruit outside participants because in a case
> like
> this the whole context changes. No longer are you dealing with issues
> relating to work environments. With outsiders you can explicitly
> recruit,
> for example, people with very specific types of disabilities and/ or
> assistive technologies without getting into legal hot water.
>
> Hope this helps.
>
>
> Karl
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto:webaim-forum-
> > <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Angela Colter
> > Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:49 PM
> > To: WebAIM Discussion List
> > Subject: [WebAIM] Recruiting assistive technology users for usability
> > testing
> >
> > I'm working on a usability testing project for a large financial
> > services
> > company and I'd like to include company employees who are assistive
> > technology users in our group of participants.
> >
> > Problem is, the Human Resources department has, in the past, frowned
> on
> > asking these employees to participate because HR doesn't want them to
> > be
> > "singled out."
> >
> > I'm wondering if any of you have experiences dealing with getting
> > permission
> > from a company's HR department to involve employees with disabilities
> > in
> > your usability testing efforts.
> >
> > Thanks for any advice you have to share.
> >
> > Angela
> >
> > --
> > Angela Colter
> > Usability Consultant
> > 215-921-6677
> >
> > Web: http://www.angelacolter.com
> > Twitter: @angelacolter
> >