The Use and Accessibility of Touch-Screen Devices Among Individuals with Visual Impairment


1. Project

The Use and Accessibility of Touch-Screen Devices Among Individuals with Visual Impairment

2. Principal Investigator

Natalie Martiniello, M.Sc (PhD Student)
Université de Montréal – École d’optométrie
3744 Jean-Brilliant
Montreal QC H3T 1P1
Email: natalina.martiniello@umontreal.ca

Supervisor

Walter Wittich, PhD, FAAO, CLVT
Université de Montréal – École d’optométrie
3744 Jean-Brilliant, Bureau 260-7
Montreal QC H3T 1P1
Tel: (514) 343-7962
Fax: (514) 343-2383
Email: walter.wittich@umontreal.ca

MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre
Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de service sociaux du Centre-ouest de l’Île de Montréal
Bureau A306
7000, Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal QC  H4B 1R3

3. Collaborating Researchers

Aaron Johnson, PhD
Concordia University – Department of Psychology
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex,
7141 Sherbrooke W., Bureau L-SP 245-5
H4B 1R6
Tel: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2241
Email: aaron.johnson@concordia.ca

Christine Lehane
University of Copenhagen, Denmark - Department of Psychology
Øster Farimagsgade 2A, 1353 København K, CSS, Building: 10-1-27
Tel: +45 35 33 16 27
Email: christine.lehane@psy.ku.dk

Magdalena Bittner
Munich University of Applied Sciences
Department of Optometry/Ophthalmic Optics

Supervisor

Werner Eisenbarth, PhD
Munich University of Applied Sciences
Department of Optometry/Ophthalmic Optics
Email: werner.eisenbarth@hm.edu

4. Grant

This research project has not been funded.

5. Conflict of Interest Declaration

None of the researchers involved in this study have any conflict of interest.

6. Preamble

We are asking you to participate in a research project about the experiences of individuals with visual impairments who use smartphones and tablet computers. Before agreeing to participate in this project, please take the time to read and carefully consider the following information. This consent form explains the aim of this study, the procedures, advantages, risks and inconvenience as well as the persons to contact for more information. We invite you to ask any questions you may have to the researchers assigned to this research project.

7. What is this study about?

The aim of this study is to assess which mainstream touch screen devices and installable apps are being used by persons who are blind, deaf-blind or who have low vision, and whether these mainstream devices are replacing the role of conventional assistive aids.

8. Am I eligible to participate?

We are looking for individuals who are 18 years or older, have a visual impairment and who have been using a smartphone or a tablet computer for at least three months. Since the survey is available in English, French and German, you should understand one of these languages to participate.

9. What do I need to do?

Participation in this study consists of a single online survey hosted at http://touchscreen.hostedincanadasurveys.ca/ which you may complete at a time that is most convenient for you. The survey includes up to 52 questions (the exact number of questions may depend on the answers you provide). These questions may be multiple choice or open-ended (short answers). The time required to respond to the survey should be between 30 and 45 minutes. The survey will be fully accessible to blind and low vision participants.

10. What information will be collected from me?

This survey will include questions about your demographics and visual impairment, the touch-screen devices and accessibility features and apps that you use, as well as questions to better determine how these devices are being used.

11. Will I receive compensation for my participation?

Though you will not personally benefit from taking part in this study, you will be making a contribution to the field of Vision Rehabilitation by providing us with a better understanding of the accessibility features and benefits of smartphones and tablet computers for individuals who are blind or have low vision.

You will have the option at the end of the survey to include your e-mail address in a draw for a $100 gift card to either the iTunes (Apple) or Google Play stores.

12. Are there any risks or inconveniences associated with participating in the research study?

There are no known risks associated with the participation in this study. The reporting of results will be anonymous. There is always a minimal risk that this personal information could be accessed by third parties if you complete a survey online from an unsecured wireless internet connection. This is a risk inherent to online activities in general, however, and as described below, we will take precautions to protect your information once it has been submitted.

13. How will the results of this study be disseminated?

Results will be submitted for publication within academic journals in the field of vision loss and assistive technology (such as the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness) and will be presented at local, national, and international conferences within the field of visual impairment. These findings will also be presented to clinicians at vision rehabilitation centres that are affiliated with the Centre de recherché interdisciplinaire en réadaptation (CRIR) de Montréal métropolitain upon request so that clinicians may gain an understanding of the situations where mainstream and adaptive technologies may be applied, user experiences with these devices, and additional considerations that may inform clinical practice. You will also have the option to request a summary sheet of the results once the study is complete.

14. Confidentiality

If you choose to provide your e-mail address when you complete the survey, we will provide you with a summary of the results of the study at the conclusion of the research. Your e-mail address will be separated from your survey responses, so that there will be no link between your contact information and your responses. Otherwise, no personally identifying information will be collected as a part of the survey, and as such there will be no direct way to link responses to participants.

During the online collection phase, data will be stored on secured Internet servers in Canada. Once online data collection has been completed, the data will be downloaded and stored at the École d'optométrie of the Université de Montréal on an encrypted USB key of the principal researcher. All information collected will be encrypted and stored in password protected files. Only the researchers involved with this study (and affiliated staff) will have access to the data. Seven years following the end of the study, all data will be destroyed.

However, for control purposes, your information could be consulted by a person appointed by the CRIR Research Ethics Committee or by the Ethics Unit of the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec, all of whom adhere to a policy of strict confidentiality.

Your anonymity will be assured in the presentation of any results and in the final report.

15. Resource Persons

This project has been approved by the ethics committee of the Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire en readaptation (CRIR). If you have any questions about your rights and recourse or your participation in this research study, you can contact Anik Nolet, Research Ethics Co-ordinator for the CRIR’s Institutions at 1-514-527-9565 extension 3795 or by e-mail anolet.crir@ssss.gouv.qc.ca.

If you have a complaint to register regarding your participation in this project, we encourage you to contact Me Nolet listed above as well as the complaints commissioner who works for the institution where you are a client.  

For West-Central Montreal Health (which includes MAB-Mackay)
Maude Laliberté, Service Quality and Complaints Commissioner
(514) 340-8222, extension 25833
ombudsman@jgh.mcgill.ca

Supervisor

Walter Wittich, PhD, FAAO, CLVT
Université de Montréal – École d’optométrie
3744 Jean-Brilliant, Bureau 260-7
Montreal QC H3T 1P1
Tel: (514) 343-7962
Fax: (514) 343-2383
Email: walter.wittich@umontreal.ca

16. Voluntary participation and withdrawal

Participation is completely voluntary and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any time during the completion of the survey, without having to give any reasons for your withdrawal. Once you have completed and submitted the survey to the research team, it will not be possible to withdraw because your submission is anonymous.

17. Responsibility Clause

While agreeing to participate in this study, you do not give up any of your legal rights nor release the researchers, sponsors or institutions involved of their legal and professional obligations.

18. Consent

I state that I have read this consent form. I understand this study, the nature and extent of my participation, as well as the benefits and risks/inconveniences to which I will be exposed as presented in this form. I have been given the opportunity to ask questions concerning any aspects of the study and have received answers to my satisfaction.

I certify that I have had sufficient time to consider my decision to participate in this study.

By continuing with this online survey, I voluntarily agree to take part in this study.

A note on privacy
This survey is anonymous.
The record of your survey responses does not contain any identifying information about you, unless a specific survey question explicitly asked for it. If you used an identifying token to access this survey, please rest assured that this token will not be stored together with your responses. It is managed in a separate database and will only be updated to indicate whether you did (or did not) complete this survey. There is no way of matching identification tokens with survey responses.