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Universal Design & Accessibility Topics in College Curriculum (v34emp)

Measuring the Value of Accessibility and Universal Design Topics in Course Curricula Survey

Study Title: Surveying Student Benefits of Including Universal Design & Accessibility Topics in College Curriculum
Principal Investigator: Howard Kramer, UCB 599, RL1, Boulder, CO  80309
Key Personnel:







Howard Kramer

Principal Investigator



IRB Protocol Number: 18-0216

Sponsor: This work is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (#1742007019) and support from the University of Colorado Boulder, AHEAD, and Interactive Accessibility.

Your participation in this research study is voluntary. Please think about the information below carefully. Feel free to email questions to the contact above before making your decision whether or not to participate. If you decide to participate, your consent is indicated by submitting this survey. A pdf copy of this consent form can be obtained from this link.

  1. Purpose and Background

    The purpose of this study is to gauge the usefulness of accessibility and Universal Design topics in college curricula. Specifically, we are studying if students who take courses with these topics in design and technical classes report benefits in seeking employment or if they experience benefits in other areas of their education. You are being asked to participate in this study because we would like to learn about your experiences in taking or not taking these topics in you coursework. Your answers will help to determine if including accessibility topics in coursework provides benefit to students and helps determine what topics in this area might be most beneficial.

  2. Study Tasks and Procedures

    You are being asked to respond to an online survey. You can complete the survey at your convenience. Unless you provide your name and contact information for a follow-up interview (optional), your response will be anonymous. If you do provide your name or email identifying information will be separated from any other data collected, maintaining your privacy and anonymity in all published and written data resulting from this study.

  3. Duration - The survey will take less than 15 minutes of your time.
  4. Participants – We expect about 500 individuals to be a part of the study.
  5. Study Withdrawal

    If you provide your name for a follow-up interview, you have the right to withdraw your consent or discontinue participation at any time. Simply send an email to if you wish to withdraw. You have the right to refuse to answer any question(s) for any reason.

  6. Risks and Discomforts

    The risks to you are minimal since your individual responses to this survey are anonymous, and in cases where your name is provided, will remain confidential. No one except the researchers will have access to your responses with your identifying information. Identifying information (for example, your name), if provided, will only be used to combine the survey answers with any future surveys, and will be deleted prior to any subsequent analysis.

  7. Potential Benefits

    We cannot promise any benefits to you or others from your taking part in this research. However, through participation in this study you will have the opportunity to provide valuable information on the usefulness and benefits of accessibility and Universal Design topics in college curricula. Information from this research study may influence the decision of colleges and universities to include these topics in their design and technical programs.

  8. CU Boulder Students or Employees

    If you are a CU Boulder student or employee, taking part in this research is not part of your class work or duties. You can refuse to enroll, or withdraw after enrolling at any time, with no effect on your class standing, grades, or job at CU Boulder. You will not be offered or receive any special consideration if you take part in this research.

  9. Confidentiality

    Information obtained about you for this study will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by law. Research information that identifies you may be shared with the University of Colorado Boulder Institutional Review Board (IRB) and others who are responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations related to research, including people on behalf of the Office for Human Research Protections. The information from this research may be published for scientific purposes; however, your identity will not be given out.

  1. Compensation

    You will not be paid to participate in this study. Participant Rights Taking part in this study is your choice. You may choose either to take part or not take part in the study. No matter what decision you make, there will be no penalty to you in any way.

  2. Participant Rights

    Taking part in this study is your choice. You may choose either to take part or not take part in the study. No matter what decision you make, there will be no penalty to you in any way.

  3. Contact and Questions

    For questions, concerns, or complaints about this study, or think the research has hurt you, call Howard Kramer at 303-492-8672 or email at

    This research has been reviewed and approved by an IRB. You may talk to them at (303) 735-3702 or if:
    •           Your questions, concerns, or complaints are not being answered by the research team.
    •           You cannot reach the research team.
    •           You want to talk to someone besides the research team.
    •           You have questions about your rights as a research subject.
    •           You want to get information or provide input about this research.

  4. Providing your Consent

    Your agreement to participate is indicated by completing and submitting this survey. Again, your participation is entirely voluntary. You may email any questions to the researcher listed above at any time. Your signature is not required on any document.


Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both "direct access" (i.e. unassisted) and "indirect access" meaning compatibility with a person's Assistive Technology (for example, a wheelchair or computer screen readers). [1]

Universal Design
Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities [2]

Survey Questions
1. Are you 18 years of age or older? *This question is required.
Were there topics related to Universal Design and/or accessibility for persons with disabilities addressed in a college-level course you completed?
(see definitions of Universal Design and accessibility above) *This question is required.
Please tell us the reasons why you did not take any classes that addressed Universal Design or accessibility topics:
Would you have been interested in taking courses with these topics if they were offered?
Was the primary focus of the course Universal Design and/or accessibility or were these topics a component of a course with a broader scope?
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “no value” and 5 indicating “crucial,” please rate the usefulness of taking a course with topics that included Universal Design and/or accessibility. *This question is required.
1 - no value2- some value3 - worthwhile4 - very valuable5 - crucial
Were there any topics included in the material on Universal Design or accessibility that you found to be particularly valuable? *This question is required.
Since taking the class, have you found the material on Universal Design or accessibility to be valuable for you in specific ways? *This question is required.
If so, please give examples. Things to consider could include ideas or techniques you have used in later coursework, value in getting a job, ideas or techniques you have used in a job, and influence on your career plans.
(If you feel the material has not been valuable, please leave these responses blank.)
Do you have any plans to continue learning about accessibility and Universal Design, either through formal classwork, additional certifications or otherwise?
Was this an undergraduate or graduate level course?
Was this a 2-year,  4-year, or vocational school?
Have you graduated since taking the course
Please select your age group.
Please select your gender.
Who sent you the invite for this survey?
If you are willing to answer future surveys or discuss your use of Universal Design beyond in a follow-up interview, please enter your first name and email in the field below.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey!   
This survey is only open to individuals 18 years of age or older. Thank you for your interest in the survey.