Interdisciplinary Approach to the Development of Accessible Computer-Administered Measurement Instruments

Susan Magasi*, Mark Harniss, Allen W. Heinemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Principles of fairness in testing require that all test takers, including people with disabilities, have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their capacity on the construct being measured. Measurement design features and assessment protocols can pose barriers for people with disabilities. Fairness in testing is a fundamental validity issue at all phases in the design, administration, and interpretation of measurement instruments in clinical practice and research. There is limited guidance for instrument developers on how to develop and evaluate the accessibility and usability of measurement instruments. This article describes a 6-stage iterative process for developing accessible computer-administered measurement instruments grounded in the procedures implemented across several major measurement initiatives. A key component of this process is interdisciplinary teams of accessibility experts, content and measurement experts, information technology experts, and people with disabilities working together to ensure that measurement instruments are accessible and usable by a wide range of users. The development of accessible measurement instruments is not only an ethical requirement, it also ensures better science by minimizing measurement bias, missing data, and attrition due to mismatches between the target population and test administration platform and protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Disabled persons
  • Outcome assessment
  • Rehabilitation
  • User-computer interface
  • healthcare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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