Civic Design

Monday, March 31, 2008

UPA Testifies at EAC Roundtable: Usability , Access, Plain Language

UPA’s Usability in Civil Life Project made another contribution to the national conversation about usability and accessibility in voting last week. Two members of the project gave testimony to the Election Assistance Commission at their Usability and Accessibility roundtable discussion regarding the Technical Guidelines Development Committee’s (TGDC) recommended voluntary voting system guidelines (VVSG). The event was held at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Usability in Civic Life director Whitney Quesenbery presented testimony that ties accessibility to accessibility in voting systems.

“It takes access plus usability to provide accessible usability to all,” she said in written testimony.

UPA Voting and Usability project member Josephine Scott attended for Karen Bachmann, User Experience manager at the Society for Technical Communications. Josie advocated the adoption of plain language for all voting materials: ballots, instructions, polling materials and poll worker documentation to simplify voting.

“Using plain language helps bring clarity to an inherently complex activity,” she wrote.

More information:
UPA Usability and Civic Life Project:
The Election Assistance Commission:
Whitney’s Testimony: Connecting Usability and Accessibility in Elections
Josie’s Testimony: Plain Language: Adding Simplicity to Voting

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