Designing the Research Study

Accessibility of materials and the research itself must be addressed before the recruitment of participants. Consider the following:


  • Are research materials provided in large, sans serif font (Arial, 16pt or larger is recommended)?
  • Are potential participants able to manipulate materials for accessibility? For example, digital files that can read aloud by JAWS, text that can be manipulated on screen for readability.
  • Determine with your institution’s ethics board if a digital signature can be provided in place of a written one by individuals when consenting to participate.


  • Some individuals may identify as blind, some as visually impaired, while others may prefer the term ‘visually independent’. Ensure the language used in recruitment materials is inclusive for all potential participants.
  • Provide a clear definition of visual impairment (for example: citing specific diagnoses, or clear definitions such as: “legal blindness, or best-corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or worse and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees in the better eye”), rather than assuming potential participants will identify with a term you have selected.
  • Make clear the intent of the study, your research question, and what the results will be used for.

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