Chris Ashton

dai11y 01/06/2021

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How to open a budget Accessibility Simulation Lab

  • Andreea Vlad shares how the NHS Business Service Authority built its “budget” Accessibility Simulation Lab.
    • Whilst the article was published in May 2021, it’s not clear when the lab was actually put together. By its nature, it is very “hands on”, and Andreea also recommends having a fruit & candy bowl on site to encourage participation, so it certainly hearkens back to pre-Covid times…!
  • The lab is a single Chromebook, pre-configured with personas that simulate certain disabilities, alongside a mouse, keyboard and headphones. Someone bought several sets of cheap protective glasses, and then applied masking tape, nail polish and permanent markers to try to simulate visual conditions such as glaucoma, central field loss, and low vision. Finally, there are three very old phones, though no reference is made as to how these are used.
  • Andreea suggests that it’s hard to find lab session times that suit everybody; the implication is to let people use the lab in their own time. Try to get structured feedback from people, by asking them “I think we should…”, “I think we should not…”, and “[x]… stops me from caring about accessibility”. This encourages visitors to reflact, and increases their buy-in.

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