Date

6-2010

Degree Name

BS in Graphic Communication

Department

Graphic Communication Department

Advisor(s)

Lorraine Donegan

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the current status of the interaction between the graphic communication industry (specifically publishing, web development and education) and the population of visually impaired individuals.

The study researched the standards in place, the level of accessibility of resources, the level of satisfaction among people with visual impairments, and suggestions for improvements within the industry. The research methods included elite and specialized interviews with educators and industry professionals, historical research of documents and regulations on accessibility and descriptive research of three providers of resources for the visually impaired community.

The results show that while standards are in place for government related agencies and funded programs, there is a lack of education among publishers and designers on the needs of the visually impaired. As well there is an issue of funding for the products needed. There are potential improvements within the graphic communication industry including more content availability among publishers, and improved printing technology. As well, recent advances in web and computer software technology have shown optimism that accessibility to content provided by the graphic communication industry will be increasingly more available for people with visual impairments.

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