UR CTSI and VICTR Team Up to Make Surveys More Accessible

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Jenna Stewardson

Members of the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research teamed up to create an external module for REDCap that makes it easier for anyone to create research surveys that are accessible for use with Deaf and DeafBlind people.

The effort, which was spearheaded by Deaf researchers in the National Center for Deaf Health Research within the UR CTSI, makes it easy to embed individual sign language videos for each survey question and answer and to provide multiple sign language options. This allows participants to take the survey in their primary language without having to hold a question and its possible answers in memory before making a selection.

The module also allows survey-takers to optimize visual aspects of the survey including text size and color and background color, improving legibility for those with low vision. Altogether, these features will improve the survey experience for Deaf and DeafBlind survey takers, while enhancing the accuracy of the data they are able to provide.

While the module was created with Deaf and DeafBlind communities in mind, it may have broader applications that could help reach other communities that have been historically marginalized.

CTSA Program In Action Goals
Goal 2: Engage Patients and Communities in Every Phase of the Translational Process
Goal 3: Promote the Integration of Special and Underserved Populations in Translational Research Across the Human Lifespan
Goal 4: Innovate Processes to Increase the Quality and Efficiency of Translational Research, Particularly of Multisite Trials