Designing Accessible Technology-Enabled Reading Assessments: Recommendations from Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments

Eric George Hansen, Cara Cahalan Laitusis, Lois Frankel, Teresa King

Preferred Citation

Hansen, E. G., Laitusis, C. C., Frankel, L., & King, T. (2012). Designing accessible technology-enabled reading assessments: Recommendations from teachers of students with visual impairments. Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research, 2(2). Retrieved from doi:


There is a great need to ensure that innovative technology-enabled assessments are accessible for students with disabilities. This study examined the severity of accessibility challenges that students with visual disabilities (ranging from low vision to complete blindness) would encounter in accessing prototype reading tasks from ETS’s Cognitively-Based Assessments of, for, and as Learning (CBAL) research system. The study gathered the judgments and suggestions of a focus group of six teachers of the visually impaired (TVI). The teachers (a) examined prototype tasks, (b) evaluated the severity of accessibility problems that would be encountered by students having different primary methods for accessing text (e.g., braille, audio, visual enhancement), and (c) offered suggestions about how to improve the accessibility of the tasks. The report summarizes the results of this study and provides recommendations for improving the accessibility of innovative reading tasks.

Full Text:



The Journal of Blindness Innovation and Research is copyright (c) 2014 to the National Federation of the Blind.