OCAD University Open Research Repository

Access, Action, & Agency: Inclusive Design for the Non-visual Use of a Highly Interactive Simulation

Smith, Taliesin (2016) Access, Action, & Agency: Inclusive Design for the Non-visual Use of a Highly Interactive Simulation. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Smith, Taliesin

Interactive computer simulations are effective learning tools commonly used in science education; however, they are inaccessible to many students with disabilities. In this Major Research Project, we present findings from the design and implementation of accessibility features for the PhET Interactive Simulation, Balloons and Static Electricity. Our focus was access for screen reader users. We designed an interaction flow that connected keyboard interactions with reactions in dynamic content. Using a Parallel Document Object Model (PDOM), we created access for screen reader users to simulation content and interactive sim elements. We conducted interviews with 12 screen reader users to evaluate our progress on verbal text description and keyboard access, and to understand better how blind users engage with interactive simulations. We share findings about our successes and challenges and the insight we have gained in making an interactive science simulation more inclusive.

Date: 15 April 2016
Additional Information: What is PhET? Founded founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery. This Major Research Project worked on making one PhET Simulation, Balloons and Static Electricity, accessible to a student using a screen reader and keyboard on a desktop computer or laptop.
Uncontrolled Keywords: web accessibility, usability, blind users, inclusive design, non-visual user interface, parallel Document Object Model (PDOM), keyboard interaction, text description, educational simulation, interactive science simulation
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 18:09
Last Modified: 11 May 2016 18:09
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/713

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