AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



DOVP Week: June Gothberg on Keeping it Simple and Intuitive

Greetings, I am June Gothberg, the State Technical Assistance Coordinator for the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC). I am also co-chair of AEA’s Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG (DOVP). As we worked together on this week’s AEA365 blog, we wanted bring you practical resources, hints, and tricks for including people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations in your evaluations. DOVP is often approached with simple questions of “how to” in this area. My co-chair, Jennifer will be presenting an AEA Coffee Break Webinar on Thursday on how to include Universal Design in your evaluations and we will be also giving a full hands-on workshop at the AEA Conference in San Antonio with another of our colleagues. We would love to have you there!

In the meantime, I would encourage you to get to know the seven basic principals of Universal Design:

  1. Equitable use
  2. Flexibility in use
  3. Simple and intuitive use
  4. Perceptible information
  5. Tolerance for error
  6. Low physical effort
  7. Size and space for approach and use

Hot Tips: Today, I would like to suggest tips and resources from Principal 3: Simple and intuitive use. In other words keep it simple.

  • First and foremost, know your participants and prepare. If you know you have people involved who have hearing, vision, ambulatory, sensory challenges, make sure to accommodate ahead of time. Prepare materials and activities with them in mind.
  • Remember you may enjoy fancy fonts, backgrounds, and graphics, but the best tools are simple black and white. Besides people with low vision, 8% (10.5 million) of males in the United States are color blind making it difficult to read multicolor materials.
  • If are looking to include people with low reading abilities either create the evaluation materials with them in mind or create an alternative assessment at a lower reading level. A simple trick is to use the option provided in your word processing program to rate the ease of readability (MS Word uses the Flesch-Kincaid grade level) and keep your evaluation tool below a 4th to 6th grade reading level to include more diverse participation.
  • If you are looking to include people in a survey who are either non-verbal or low readers by all means create a survey that uses pictorial responses either in the form of smiles to frowns or actual pictures of activities.
  • Offer materials, handouts, and presentations in a variety of formats: large print or Braille if needed.
  • Be prepared to include a reader or interpreter.

Rad resources – Websites:

Rad resources – Free picture resources:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations (DOVP) Week with our colleagues in the DOVP AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our DOVP members and you may wish to consider subscribing to our weekly headlines and resources list where we’ll be highlighting DOVP resources.

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