The primary form of the disabled persona is the student with a vision disability attending a university, college, or trade school.
- 17-65 years of age
- Can fall into any of the other persona groups (student, faculty, staff, executive, IT)
- Could be a Digital Native or a Digital Immigrant
- Varying experience and comfort with technology - probably frustrated with technology that does not account for their disability
- Varying forms of communication with some specialized to their disability
Brent represents vision impaired users. Brent was born totally blind but has adapted as a person with no light perception. Brent has not let his disability prevent him from making the most of his life. Brent intends on getting a law degree and has enrolled in a university with a respected law program. Brent owns a computer and uses assistive technology, including Freedom Scientific's JAWS for Windows screen reading software to use mainstream computer applications and the Internet.
In 2002, the WHO estimated there were 161 million (about 2.6%) visually impaired people in the world, of whom 124 million (about 2%) had low vision and 37 million (about 0.6%) were blind. Most legally blind people (70% of them across all ages, according to the Lighthouse for the Blind) do not use computers. Only a small fraction of this population, when compared to the sighted community, have Internet access. This bleak outlook is changing, however, as availability of assistive technology increases, accompanied by concerted efforts to ensure the accessibility of information technology to all potential users, including the blind.
Melissa represents motor impaired users. Melissa is a returning student that has Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disease mainly characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1 percent of the U.S. population or 2.1 million Americans. Melissa currently has stage 2 Rheumatoid arthritis that primarily affects her wrists, hands, and fingers. She has trouble manipulating a computer mouse, clicking on content on the computer screen, or doing any complex/fine motor movement that requires her hands. Melissa has voice-recognition software that she utilizes when her pain makes typing difficult or impossible.
Clark represents color blind users, approximately 5-8 percent of total users. Roughly 90-95 percent of colorblind individuals are men. Clark is a faculty member, a mathematics teacher in a small Community College. Clark has protanopia, meaning that the brightness of red, orange, and yellow is much reduced compared to normal. This dimming can be so pronounced that reds may be confused with black or dark gray. Clark has learned to distinguish reds from yellows and from greens primarily on the basis of their apparent brightness or lightness, not on any perceptible hue difference. Violet, lavender, and purple are indistinguishable from various shades of blue because their reddish components are so dimmed as to be invisible.
This is the color wheel as a normally sighted person would see it:
This is the color wheel as a person with protanopia would see it: