Item formats included extensive checklists, open-ended questions with probes, and satisfaction/ adequacy ratings based on a 1-5 scale (5 being the most positive rating). For example, the item "What classroom accommodations did you use while you were a student?" was followed by a checklist including 17 specific accommodations and space to list other accommodations. Respondents answered open-ended questions such as, "Were there technical skills training opportunities that you did not take advantage of that you now wish you had?" Student ratings using the 1 to 5 scale were gathered on such items as "During the time you were a student, how much did you learn about the variety of technology available at the school? (1 - nothing, 5 - everything I needed to know).
To improve the validity of the interview, the investigators completed several steps. The OCA director and the program specialist critiqued the questions prior to a pilot test. In the pilot test, 2 interviewers and the senior author interviewed 5 college graduates with disabilities. Based on feedback from these interviewees, the authors made several changes in the interview questions. As a result of the pilot test, the interviewers, 1 master's and 1 doctoral student in rehabilitation, also gained valuable experience in conducting the 1-hour interview.
With assistance from OCA, researchers developed a list of students with disabilities who had graduated after 1991 (N = 688). Because many of these students had temporary impairments while enrolled in school (e.g., a student with a broken leg who used handicapped parking for 6 weeks), they were not eligible to participate in the study. After eliminating individuals with temporary conditions, investigators requested current telephone numbers from the Alumni Office for the remaining graduates. Based on their records, the Alumni Office could provide current address information for 103 possible participants.
Telephone contacts were initiated based on a random sequence (derived from the use of a random numbers table). Any individual who could not be contacted in three attempts was dropped from the sample. Following this procedure, 40 graduates who agreed to complete the telephone survey were contacted.
Throughout the interview, interviewers encouraged participants to suggest ways to improve technology training and assistance for college students with disabilities. A rater familiar with assistive technology and the needs of college students with disabilities coded free responses, for the most part, by simply listing verbatim responses of the students and then grouping similar statements together.
Descriptive summaries of the survey results from the 40 participants with disabilities are reported regarding (a) types of disability-related limitations and accommodations, (b) services received regarding technology needs in college, (c) services received regarding technology needs in employment, and (d) confidence regarding their ability to implement accommodations at work. In some cases, fewer than 40 participants responded to a