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White paper: conducting user evaluations with people with disabilities

Usable Access is the IBM practice of incorporating User-Centered Design methodologies with our accessibility initiatives in order to increase our products' ease of use for people with disabilities. This guide details the current best practices for incorporating users with disabilities into usability testing activities and outlines future work in the area.

Table of Contents

The purpose of this guide and who should use it, along with information on why you should be including users with disabilities in your usability evaluations.

Perform accessibility heuristic evaluations and learn about assistive technologies and testing tools prior to engaging participants.

Which disabilities should be included in user evaluations? How many participants should be included? How long should the sessions run? Also, the pros and cons of performing evaluations at the user's location versus a lab environment and advice on recruiting participants with disabilities.

Preparing materials ahead of time and evaluating early prototypes. Suggestions for running pilot sessions along with disability specific advice for conducting evaluations in a lab environment versus at the user's location.

The challenges for this work to date and future research needs.

IBM's planned future work in this important field.

Best practices within IBM and in the industry as a whole as of today.