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DOVP Week: June Gothberg on Creating Evaluation Designs that are Flexible and Perceptible for All

Greeting, I am June Gothberg, Senior Researcher at Western Michigan University. You may also recognize me as the intern Lead Curator for aea365. My AEA internship is ending this month and I will be passing the torch to another. Look for forthcoming details from Susan Kistler.

My colleague, Jennifer Sullivan Sulewski and I co-chair the Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG. We also co-authored the Universal Design for Evaluation (UDE) Checklist to assist evaluators to include individuals authentically in the evaluation process, people of all ages and abilities. The checklist is a tool for program evaluators who design, develop, implement, and disseminate evaluations. Today’s post focuses on numbers two and four of the checklist.

Lessons Learned:

  • Most evaluators intend to include everyone in the evaluation process.
  • In real life design and implementation, many evaluators fail to anticipate the needs of the diverse individuals important to the evaluation.

Hot Tips:

  • Design Evaluation using UDE Principle 2: Flexibility in Use. Evaluations that demonstrate flexibility in use accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. The evaluation plan will show evidence of preparation to:
    • Communicate with participants of diverse abilities, communication styles, and cultural backgrounds. (e.g., second language interpreters, sign language interpreters, readers, large text, and Braille)
    • Address individual needs.
    • Provide alternate data collection tools based on communication preferences and needs. (e.g., written, oral, using smart technology, observation)
    • Include extra time for participants with slower processing or language barriers.
    • Include extra time to observe cultural practices.
  • Design Evaluation using UDE Principle 4: Perceptible Information. The evaluation design that provides perceptible information will communicate necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
    • Sensory issues are addressed. (lower lighting, no flickering florescent lights, minimal noise, seating away from doors and windows, quiet ‘fidget’ toys – think stress ball)
    • Multiple media options are used to present information.
    • All printed publications are available immediately or in a timely manner in alternate formats2.
    • A statement is included in all materials about procedures for requesting accommodations or assistance.
    • Online materials adhere to web accessibility standards.

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG (DOVP) Week. The contributions all week come from DOVP members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluator.e 

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2 comments

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