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American Council of the Blind and Google Conduct Survey to Better Understand Computer Usage and Assistive Technology Patterns in the Blind Community

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 16, 2011 — Today, the American Council of the Blind (ACB) announced it will be working with Google Inc. to survey blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind individuals to better understand how they use computers and assistive technology to access information.

“Having access to information through the use of accessible technology is paramount in this day and age for education, employment and social networking. Many studies have evaluated how users generally access the Internet, but none have focused specifically on the experience of blind users,” said Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind. “We’re pleased to collaborate with Google to develop and implement this survey, which will look at how blind users choose and adopt assistive technologies and how they discover new tools and information. Understanding the needs of the blind community is the first step to developing effective new ways of accessing information in the cloud.”

The survey, developed jointly by Google and the American Council of the Blind, will gather data about technology use and needs in the blind community. Respondents will be able to complete the survey by either telephone or Web. Survey data will be used to better understand how blind users interact with the Web, which assistive technologies they find most useful, and how they make decisions about whether to switch or upgrade tools.

“At Google we’re committed to making our products accessible and we’re currently hard at work making improvements,” said Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President of Knowledge at Google. “By connecting with American Council of the Blind members, we hope to gain valuable insight into how the blind use the Internet and how their needs are evolving with technology.”

The survey, which will run through mid-September, is available immediately at http://www.acb.org/googlesurvey.

About the American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind is the largest consumer-based organization of blind and visually impaired Americans advocating for the rights of blind Americans. Comprised of more than 70 affiliates across the United States, the organization is dedicated to making it possible for blind and visually impaired Americans to participate fully in all aspects of American society. For more information, visit http://www.acb.org; write to American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201; phone (202) 467-5081; or fax (703) 465-5085.

Contact: Eric Bridges
Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs
American Council of the Blind
Phone: (202) 467-5081
e-mail: Email

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