[Nfbnet-members-list] Research participant solicitation post

Blake, Lou Ann LBlake at nfb.org
Thu Oct 5 01:09:55 UTC 2017

Dear List Members:

The below research participant solicitation is 
being provided for informational purposes only. 
The National Federation of the Blind has no 
involvement in this research, but we believe that 
it may contribute to our research mission.

Research Participant Solicitation:
Are you a company executive experienced in hiring 
and employing individuals who are blind? Are you 
a VR professional experienced in offering job 
skills training to individuals who are blind? Are 
you an expert user of smartphone apps designed 
for individuals who are blind? If your response 
to any of these questions is ‘YES’, we invite you 
to a study on enhancing the employability of individuals who are blind.

In this study, a blind person is someone who 
relies predominantly on non-visual senses to 
perceive and understand his/her environment. 
Smartphones along with their built-in cameras, 
screen-reader software, and non-visual apps (e.g. 
KNFB Reader, Seeing AI, TapTapSee, etc.) comprise 
a mobile assistive technology (MAT) bundle for 
blind users. MAT is hailed as an ‘eye for the 
blind’ since it affords sensing and understanding 
the environment non-visually like never before.

The researchers conducting this study are Dr. Don 
Heath of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and 
Dr. Rakesh Babu of the University of Wisconsin 
Milwaukee. They are interested in understanding 
how MAT might enhance the workplace capabilities, 
functional independence and employability of 
blind people. Specifically, they are 
investigating how employers might recognize the 
workplace potential of MAT-enabled blind workers 
for jobs within their firm. They need help from 
domain experts like you in this investigation.

The study will employ three panels of domain 
experts – employers, VR professionals and expert 
blind smartphone users. It will proceed in three 
phases. In the first phase, each panel will be 
presented a catalogue of smartphone apps designed 
for blind users, and requested to describe the 
categories of capabilities these afford to blind 
users at the workplace. In the second phase, the 
panel will rank order the list of categories 
based on their relative significance to blind 
workers. In the third phase, the panel will vote 
to establish consensus on a final rank order for 
the list. The results of this study will be 
shared with participants after the study is over. 
Any publication or presentation resulting from 
this study will acknowledge the contribution of 
participants should they agree to be identified. 
Otherwise, their participation will remain 
anonymous. In any case, the contribution of 
participants is extremely valuable for this 
research. It will help the development of an 
evidence-based MAT-enabled job skills 
certification protocol for individuals who are blind.

The entire study will span across 14 weeks. As a 
part of this study, each participant will 
complete 7 activities. Each activity is expected 
to take 35 minutes on an average. Each 
participant will work on an activity 
independently, at a time of his/her convenience 
during a 1 - 2 week window. None of the 
activities requires any travel, conference calls, 
or direct interaction with other participants. 
Participation will take place entirely via email 
communication between the participant and the research team.

We do not anticipate any risk to participants in 
this study. All information collected will be 
used for the research, and will be kept 
confidential. Furthermore, participation is 
strictly voluntary and a participant may withdraw 
at any time without penalty. For additional 
information regarding this study, please send 
your queries to 
<mailto:heathd at uwosh.edu>heathd at uwosh.edu with 
the subject line “IRB 972730”. For any concern 
regarding treatment as a research participant, 
please contact the Chair, Institutional Review 
Board for Protection of Human Participants c/o 
Office of Grants and Faculty Development UW 
Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI 54901 (920) 424-3215. 
Although the chairperson may ask your name, all 
complaints are kept confidential.

You may express your interest to participate by 
responding to a brief questionnaire about your 
background. The link to that questionnaire is 
included below. Completing that survey would mean 
you have read the above description of the study, 
and that you understand your participation is 
strictly voluntary. Please remember to provide 
the email you wish to be used during the study. 
The questionnaire may be accessed by activating the following link:

Thank you for your consideration. Once we receive 
your response to the questionnaire, we will get 
in touch with you for further guidance.

Thanks and regards,
Rakesh Babu (Ph.D.)
UWM School of Information Studies
Northwest Quad-Bldg. B, Rm 3488
2025 E Newport Ave,
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Tel: 414-229-4707
Fax: 414-229-6699
Email: <mailto:babu at uwm.edu>babu at uwm.edu

Lou Ann Blake, J.D.
Deputy Executive Director, Jernigan Institute
200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, extension 2221| <mailto:lblake at nfb.org>lblake at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind


The National Federation of the Blind is a 
community of members and friends who believe in 
the hopes and dreams of the nation’s blind. Every 
day we work together to help blind people live the lives they want.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20171004/045f8498/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 4eafdf.png
Type: image/png
Size: 33789 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20171004/045f8498/attachment.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 4eaffe.png
Type: image/png
Size: 16173 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20171004/045f8498/attachment-0001.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 4eb00e.png
Type: image/png
Size: 16307 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20171004/045f8498/attachment-0002.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 4eb01d.png
Type: image/png
Size: 16510 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/nfbnet-members-list_nfbnet.org/attachments/20171004/045f8498/attachment-0003.png>

More information about the NFBNet-Members-List mailing list