Explanatory Statement – COVID 19 information accessibility

Explanatory Statement

Project title: Access to information by people who are blind or have low vision

Project number: 24039

You are invited to take part in this study. Please read this Explanatory Statement in full before deciding whether or not to participate in this research. If you would like further information regarding any aspect of this project, you are encouraged to contact the researchers via the phone numbers or email addresses listed below.

About this Project

This study investigates how access to information, including data visualisations, affects the vision impaired community.

In Part 1 of the project, you will be asked to fill in a survey with questions about your access to COVID-19 information, your vision condition and your use of accessible technologies. The survey will be conducted online and should take no longer than minutes to complete. If you have difficulty with the online survey, you may contact us to request an alternative methods such as email or phone. We are seeking input from both sighted and vision impaired people in part 1.

In Part 2 of the project, vision impaired people will be provided with accessible information about COVID-19 and asked for feedback via survey and/or semi-structured interview lasting no more than one hour. The interview will be conducted via phone or virtual meeting.

You may choose to take part in only one or both parts of the project.

Why were you chosen for this research?

You are an adult who is blind or has low vision, or an adult who is sighted with full or corrected vision.

You were chosen for this research because you responded to our call for participants or you have registered for the Monash University Inclusive Technologies participant pool.

Vision impaired participants may be invited to take part in a semi-structured interview. Selection will be based on your survey responses in order to capture a wide range of views. With your permission, these interviews will be audio recorded to assist with information capture.

Compensation for your time

We value your opinion and realise that your time is important. If you take part in an interview, we will send you a $20 gift card as thanks for your time.

Potential Benefits and Risks

You may benefit from this project through direct access to graphics and information that you have identified as important but inaccessible.

Accessible materials created as part of the research project will be shared openly for the use of anyone from the vision impairment community.

The project will be conducted without face-to-face meetings or provision of physical materials in line with social distancing measures. All accessible formats provided as part of this research will be safe to touch and use with your own equipment at home.

You will be asked questions concerning your vision impairment and access needs, which may give rise to some difficult emotions. You need only share that with which you feel comfortable.

Consent and withdrawal

You participation in this project is entirely voluntary. There is no need to participate unless you are happy to do so.

The first question in the survey will ask for your consent. Please make sure that you have read and understood this explanatory statement in full before providing your consent.

If you provide your name, you may withdraw your participation at any time and all responses will be discarded. It will not be possible to withdraw your survey response if you remain anonymous.


Your responses will remain confidential. It is your choice as to whether you disclose your name and any other identifying information. Your responses will only be seen by the direct research team, as listed at the end of this document. Individual results will not be released; only aggregate data. Direct quotes may be used but they will not be attributed.

Survey responses will be collected via Survey Monkey, a trusted brand with secure data storage in SOC 2 accredited data centres that comply with security and technical best practices. Data will be encrypted and only accessible with protected user logins. Responses will be removed from Survey Monkey as soon as data collection is complete.

Data will be stored in a secure location for a minimum of five years in compliance with Monash University research requirements. The data will be destroyed when it is no longer required.


All accessible information made as part of this project will be shared at the accessiblegraphics.org website.

Results of the study will be submitted for publication through a peer-reviewed conference or journal. Any resultant papers will likewise be made known at the accessiblegraphics.org website.

Potential Conflict of Interest

Cagatay Goncu is the founder of Raised Pixels and creator of GraVVITAS for access to graphics using a touchscreen and sonification. This is only one of the possible accessibility solutions that may be used based on suggestions by survey respondents. Decisions as to which formats are provided will be made by the research team as a whole. You will not be asked to purchase or promote any of the accessibility solutions provided.


If you have any concerns or complaints about the conduct of the project, please contact the Executive Officer, Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC):

Executive Officer
Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)
Room 111, Chancellery Building D,
26 Sports Walk, Clayton Campus
Research Office
Monash University VIC 3800

Tel: +61 3 9905 2052
Email: muhrec@monash.edu
Fax: +61 3 9905 3831


With thanks,

Leona Holloway


The research team may be contacted at any time.

Leona Holloway
Research Assistant
0420 426 823

Prof Kim Marriott

Dr Matt Butler

Dr Cagatay (Chatai) Goncu

Dr Alon Ilsar