Investigating Personalized Input to Improve Computer Accessibility


This research is being conducted by Dr. Leah Findlater at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her colleagues. Our goal is to improve th accessibility and usability of user interfaces on desktop computers and mobile devices, like cell phones and tablets.


The study includes short questionnaires covering demographic information and familiarity with technology. You will also be asked to perform some tasks that are typical of daily computer use, like clicking and dragging targets (e.g., buttons in a software application), and answer a few questions on your experience with those tasks. Instructions will be provided to you as you go.

You may use a regular computer like a laptop or a tablet computer like an Apple iPad. The webpage will track your actions in the study tasks and cannot track any other actions in your browser or on your computer.

The entire study will take 30-45 minutes and you can take as many breaks as you want between tasks. You may also choose to quit the study at any time.

Once you have completed the study, you may opt into a drawing for a $100 gift card (1/50 chance of winning), for which you will need to provide your email address. Your email address will be stored separately from your other study data.

Potential Risks and Discomforts

You may experience some frustration not unlike the kind of frustration many people experience from time to time when using computers. There is a possibility that this frustration may create some stress as you attempt to perform tasks with the user interface(s).

Potential Benefits

You may not directly benefit from taking part in this study. Although you may not directly benefit, we hope that the findings of this study will help to develop new interfaces that will help more people be able to use mobile devices.


Your study data will be anonymous and will not contain information that may personally identify you. Any potential loss of confidentiality will be minimized by storing data paper data in a locked office and electronic data in a password protected computer system.

If we write a report or article about this research project, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent possible. Your information may be shared with representatives of the University of Maryland, College Park or governmental authorities if you or someone else is in danger or if we are required to do so by law.

Right to Withdraw and Questions

Your participation in this research is completely voluntary. You may choose not to take part at all. If you decide to participate in this research, you may stop participating at any time. If you decide not to participate in this study or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits to which you otherwise qualify.

If you are an employee or student, your employment status or academic standing at UMD will not be affected by your participation or non-participation in this study.

If you decide to stop taking part in the study, if you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or if you need to report an injury related to the research, please contact the investigator, Dr. Leah Findlater at:

Phone: 301-405-2033
Address: Room 4105, South Wing, Hornbake Library, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Participant Rights

If you have questions about your rights as a research participant or wish to report a research-related injury, please contact:

University of Maryland College Park
Institutional Review Board Office
1204 Marie Mount
College Park, Maryland, 20742
Telephone: 301-405-0678

This research has been reviewed according to the University of Maryland, College Park IRB procedures for research involving human subjects.

Statement of Consent

Your agreement to participate indicates that you are at least 18 years of age; you have read this consent form or have had it read to you; your questions have been answered to your satisfaction and you voluntarily agree to participate in this research study. You may print a copy of this consent form.