The purpose of this paper is to present findings of a study which examined the searching experience of university students with a print disability and their use of screen reading software to navigate three proprietary databases.
Participants completed a series of tasks in three different online databases using their screen‐reading software. Screen‐recording software provided video and audio documentation of the process. Survey data were collected pre‐ and post‐study as well as after each database search session.
The paper provides insights on the information‐seeking behavior of students with print disabilities as well as the barriers encountered while navigating online databases using screen‐reading software.
The study focuses only on a small sample of university students with print disabilities and therefore lacks a control group of non‐print‐disabled students against which the results could be measured.
Database vendors are aware of the barriers their databases pose for users of screen readers. It is in the best interest of vendors to assist libraries in promoting the accessible features that already exist in their databases. Libraries can assist students by providing database instruction tailored to users of screen readers and by assisting database vendors in usability feedback and in marketing options.
Participants consisted of students with learning, visual and mobility disabilities and who were native users of screen‐reading software. There is a lack of research on the intersection of databases design and its impacts on the information literacy skills of students with print disabilities. This paper provides some insights on the first step in the information‐seeking process (gathering information) by students with a print disability and the barriers encountered.
Dermody, K. and Majekodunmi, N. (2011), "Online databases and the research experience for university students with print disabilities", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 149-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378831111116976Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited