Purpose. A group of Australian researchers seeking an accessible online survey tool discovered to their concern that most commercially available survey tools are not actually ‘useable’ by a significant number of assistive technology users. Method. Comparative effectiveness analysis of 11 popular survey tools. A bespoke survey tool was subsequently created to meet all accessibility guidelines and useability criteria as determined by the wide range of assistive technology users with whom the research team was working. Results. Many survey tools claim accessibility status but this does not reflect the actual situation. Only one survey met all compliance points; however, it was limited by inflexible layout and few options for question types; some surveys proved unusable by screen reader. All surveys reviewed represented a compromise between accessibility and breadth of functionality. Conclusion. It would appear the voices of a proportion of people living with disability are absent from the data collected by surveys, and that current accessibility guidelines, even where implemented, still fall short of assuring useable survey tools. This article describes one online solution created to successfully survey a broad population, and outlines a design approach to encompass user diversity.
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