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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB Tech's Evaluation Methods

AFB Tech uses an analytical model to evaluate a wide variety of products for accessibility for people with vision loss. Objectivity is the primary goal, and AFB Tech operates with a number of strict protocols to ensure that our accessibility evaluations are as precise, fair, and comprehensive as possible.

AFB Tech's methodology is composed of several key pillars of research:

  • Product selection protocols determine what devices are chosen for evaluation. For example, to be included in the test group of home blood pressure monitors, the product had to be on the U.S. market with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and recommended by the British Hypertension Society (BHS). However, since only one monitor with speech output was identified that met all of the criteria for inclusion, and since monitors with speech output are of particular interest to people with vision loss, a second monitor with speech output was included, even though it lacked a BHS recommendation.
  • AFB Tech staff members with varying degrees of vision loss, who have also mastered accessible technology, evaluate the accessibility of products from the perspective of consumers with vision loss. Whether totally blind or having low vision, AFB Tech evaluators explore all aspects of the user interface with regard to accessibility in their evaluations. This approach reveals all of the accessible and inaccessible elements of the product from the perspective of any user, regardless of his or her level of vision loss.
  • Usability studies, interviews, surveys, and focus groups pull together the experiences that consumers with vision loss have with the products. Feedback from real-life users is critical to providing a clear, comprehensive picture of the accessibility of a product.
  • Operational task analyses and other complex research techniques determine what works and what doesn't with the device at each step of use.
  • Extensive reviews of the literature on the products and accessibility theory are conducted to build upon our existing knowledge and experience.

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