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Dear Colleagues,

The University of Arizona was recently awarded a 3-year grant to develop the AnimalWatch VI Suite (AWVIS).  AWVIS will make AnimalWatch, a web-based tutoring program to assist youth in developing their pre-algebra skills, accessible to youth who are visually impaired and will include accompanying materials such as accessible graphics (usable by those with low vision and those who are blind). Learn more about our project by following us on Twitter at AWVIS.  Soon we will have a web site as well.

As a beginning step in our development process we have set up an on-line survey to gather ideas from professionals (TVIs, O&M instructors, and general educators) and parents of youth with visual impairments in grades 5-9 who are within 1 year of grade level in math, along with information about software programs that you may already be using and information about computers being used and their settings. This will help us know what types of computers we need to design for.

We are asking that you do two things for us.  If you can only do one, or part of one, that’s fine.  We’re happy with any level of participation you can manage.

1. Our software developers are thinking about using some browser features that are relatively new, and we’d like to know if the majority of our potential users have browsers that support those features. For each of your youths who are in grades 5-9 and who are within 1 year of grade level in math, use their preferred web browser to open this link:

Following the link will cause a simple web application to run. It will collect information such as browser type and version, and whether Flash Player is installed. That information will then be recorded on one of our servers. No personal information of any sort will be recorded. No software will be installed on the computer.

The application should take just a moment to run and will let you know when it is complete. It will not ask you to enter any data.

2. Take our on-line survey by following this link:

The first part asks for demographic information. The second asks about the technology your youths are using.  The third part describes features we are considering for inclusion in AnimalWatch-VI Suite and asks for your input on the importance of each, and the final part seeks information about accessible graphics for youth with low vision/blindness. The survey should not take more than 20 minutes. All responses are anonymous.

We know what a busy time of year this is and appreciate your help as we begin this exciting project.  We’d love to hear from you now or at any future time at .  We invite you to follow us on Twitter: AnimalWatch VI Suite.

Thank you,

L. Penny Rosenblum, Project Director
Carole Beal, Principal Investigator
Jane Erin, Co-Principal Investigator