Thesis Title

The Responsibility of Technical Communicators to Disabled Computer Users: an Analysis of Technology, Processes, and Trends

Date of Graduation

Spring 2000


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jane Hoogestraat

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


In this thesis, I study the responsibilities of technical communicators to present electronic and multimedia information in forms that are accessible to all users. This work reflects the interactions between technical communicators and the disabled computer users that use or attempt to use the products that technical communicators create. Technical communicators are responsible for the development of accessible products and product information for all possible users. Technical communicators must also be aware of the interactions between the products they create and the assistive technology devices the disabled use to gain access to those products and sources of information. In some cases this responsibility is a legal requirement, but, as is often the case with the development of new products and materials of a highly technical nature, the design choices are sometimes left to the ethics of individual technical communicators and fellow team members. This thesis proves the need for technical communicators to produce accessible electronic and information technologies. This need for accessibility is shown through an explanation and analysis of assistive technology devices, current and future design trends, and legal and ethical policies and trends.


© David Edward Wesley