Accessibility research has grown substantially in the past few decades, yet there has been no literature review of the field. To understand current and historical trends, we created and analyzed a dataset of accessibility papers appearing at CHI and ASSETS since ASSETS' founding in 1994. We qualitatively coded areas of focus and methodological decisions for the past 10 years (2010-2019, N=506 papers), and analyzed paper counts and keywords over the full 26 years (N=836 papers). Our findings highlight areas that have received disproportionate attention and those that are underserved--for example, over 43% of papers in the past 10 years are on accessibility for blind and low vision people. We also capture common study characteristics, such as the roles of disabled and nondisabled participants as well as sample sizes (e.g., a median of 13 for participant groups with disabilities and older adults). We close by critically reflecting on gaps in the literature and offering guidance for future work in the field.
Despite the potential benefits of assistive technologies (ATs) for people with various disabilities, only around 7% of Chinese with disabilities have had an opportunity to use ATs. Even for those who have used ATs, the abandonment rate was high. Although China has the world's largest population with disabilities, prior research exploring how ATs are used and perceived, and why ATs are abandoned have been conducted primarily in North America and Europe. In this paper, we present an interview study conducted in China with 26 people with various disabilities to understand their practices, challenges, perceptions, and misperceptions of using ATs. From the study, we learned about factors that influence AT adoption practices (e.g., misuse of accessible infrastructure, issues with replicating existing commercial ATs), challenges using ATs in social interactions (e.g., Chinese stigma), and misperceptions about ATs (e.g., ATs should overcome inaccessible social infrastructures). Informed by the findings, we derive a set of design considerations to bridge the existing gaps in AT design (e.g., manual vs. electronic ATs) and to improve ATs' social acceptability in China.
In the US, abuse of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) is at epidemic proportions. Further, abuse inci- dents of individuals with I/DD are woefully under-reported. We surveyed practitioners who help individuals with I/DD post-abuse to get a broader context on the problem. We found that abuse of individuals with I/DD was often reported by someone other than the survivor as survivors faced impediments in reporting. Conse- quently, we argue for developing a mobile-computing-based reporting tool for empowering individuals with I/DD to self-report abuse. Next, we conducted focus groups of individuals with I/DD to evaluate the tool’s viability, with respect to their ability to recognize/report abuse and use mobile-computing devices. We found individuals with I/DD could recognize/report abuse well when they received appropriate training. We also found individuals with I/DD could independently use their devices though they shared access to them with family. Based on these findings, we call for several lines of accessibility research in designing an abuse self-reporting tool for individuals with I/DD.
Best practices for conducting HCI research on dementia care increasingly involve multiple stakeholders and incorporate diverse viewpoints. When done effectively, involving proxy stakeholders such as family members and professionals can help bring forward the voices of people with dementia. However, concrete practical guidance for navigating the challenges of integrating different perspectives is lacking. We critically reflect on our own recent qualitative fieldwork involving participants with dementia, family caregivers, and facilitators at a local social program for people with dementia, re-examining our interview transcripts and observation notes through content analysis. We illustrate practical approaches to prioritizing participants’ voices through concrete excerpts that demonstrate strategies for better managing dynamics, intervening effectively, and engaging all stakeholders in the research process. Our reflections and proposed guidelines can benefit HCI researchers and practitioners working with vulnerable populations. We hope this work will spur further discussion and critique to strengthen and improve research practices in this domain.
Content creators are instructed to write textual descriptions of visual content to make it accessible; yet existing guidelines lack specifics on how to write about people's appearance, particularly while remaining mindful of consequences of (mis)representation. In this paper, we report on interviews with screen reader users who were also Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Non-binary, and/or Transgender on their current image description practices and preferences, and experiences negotiating theirs and others' appearances non-visually. We discuss these perspectives, and the ethics of humans and AI describing appearance characteristics that may convey the race, gender, and disabilities of those photographed. In turn, we share considerations for more carefully describing appearance, and contexts in which such information is perceived salient. Finally, we offer tensions and questions for accessibility research to equitably consider politics and ecosystems in which technologies will embed, such as potential risks of human and AI biases amplifying through image descriptions.
Despite efforts to support students with disabilities in higher education, few continue to pursue doctoral degrees in computing. We conducted an interview study with 12 blind and low vision, and 7 deaf and hard of hearing current and former doctoral students in computing to understand how graduate students adjust to inaccessibility and ineffective accommodations. We asked participants how they worked around inaccessibility, managed ineffective accommodations, and advocated for tools and services. Employing a lens of ableism in our analysis, we found that participants' extra effort to address accessibility gaps gave rise to a burden of survival, which they sustained to meet expectations of graduate-level productivity. We recommend equitable solutions that acknowledge taken-for-granted workarounds and that actively address inaccessibility in the graduate school context.
There is considerable effort within the HCI community to explore, document, and advocate for the lived experiences of persons with disabilities (PWDs). However, PWDs from the Global South, particularly Africa, are underrepresented in this scholarship. We contribute to closing this gap by investigating the unmet transit needs and characterization of technology within the disability community in Kampala, Uganda. We investigated transportation due to the increase in ride-share solutions created by widespread mobile computing and the resulting disruption of transportation worldwide. We hosted co-design sessions with disability advocates and adapted the stakeholder tokens method from the value-sensitive design framework to map the stakeholder ecosystem. Our key insight is the identification of a new group of non-traditional core stakeholders who highlight the values of inclusion, mobility, and safety within the ecosystem. Finally, we discuss how our findings engage with concepts of disability justice and perceptions of power.
Designers of digital content have access to various resources that they use to help them meet disabled people's accessibility needs. Disability simulations are one resource, but often criticized for failing to guide digital designers appropriately, and it is unclear if digital designers are aware of the issues surrounding disability simulations. I surveyed 92 digital designers to understand their perspectives toward disability simulations (both perceived advantages and disadvantages). I then shared work process challenges faced by digital designers and their reasons for using disability simulations with 17 people with vision impairments to facilitate a discussion on this topic. The interviewees discussed ideas that suggest many paths can be explored to connect digital designers and disabled people, in general, to reduce reliance on simulations, and a change is needed within workplace processes, culture, and staffing to further support positive change. There are research opportunities to investigate establishing avenues for connecting digital designers and disabled people in a way that is beneficial to both groups.
Authentication has become increasingly ubiquitous for controlling access to personal computing devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, and smartphones). In this paper, we aim to understand the authentication process used by people with upper extremity impairment (UEI). A person with UEI lacks range of motion, strength, endurance, speed, and/or accuracy associated with arms, hands, or fingers. To this end, we conducted semi-structured interviews with eight (8) adults with UEI about their use of authentication for their personal computing devices. We found that our participants primarily use passwords and PINs as a verification credential during authentication. We found the process of authentication to have several accessibility issues for our participants. Consequently, our participants implemented a variety of workarounds that prioritized usability over security throughout the authentication process. Based on these findings, we present six broad subareas of research that should be explored in order to create more accessible authentication for people with UEI.
We conceptualize Digital Design Marginalization (DDM) as the process in which a digital interface design excludes certain users and contributes to marginalization in other areas of their lives. Due to non-inclusive designs, many underrepresented users face barriers in accessing essential services that are moving increasingly, sometimes exclusively, online – services such as personal finance, healthcare, social connectivity, and shopping. This can further perpetuate the “digital divide,” a technology-based form of social inequality that has offline consequences. We introduce the term Marginalizing Design to describe designs that contribute to DDM. In this paper, we focus on the impact of Marginalizing Design on older adults through examples from our research and discussions of services that may have marginalizing designs for older adults. Our aim is to provide a conceptual lens for designers, service providers, and policy makers through which they can use to purposely lessen or avoid digitally marginalizing groups of users.
Crowdwork can enable invaluable opportunities for people with disabilities, not least the work flexibility and the ability to work from home, especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic. This paper investigates how engagement in crowdwork tasks is affected by individual disabilities and the resulting implications for HCI. We first surveyed 1000 Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) workers to identify demographics of crowdworkers who identify as having various disabilities within the AMT ecosystem---including vision, hearing, cognition/mental, mobility, reading and motor impairments. Through a second focused survey and follow-up interviews, we provide insights into how respondents cope with crowdwork tasks. We found that standard task factors, such as task completion time and presentation, often do not account for the needs of users with disabilities, resulting in anxiety and a feeling of depression on occasion. We discuss how to alleviate barriers to enable effective interaction for crowdworkers with disabilities.
The Trail Making Test (TMT) is a frequently used neuropsychological test for assessing cognitive performance. The subject connects a sequence of numbered nodes by using a pen on normal paper. We present an automatic cognitive assessment tool that analyzes samples of the TMT which we record using a digital pen. This enables us to analyze digital pen features that are difficult or impossible to evaluate manually. Our system automatically measures several pen features, including the completion time which is the main performance indicator used by clinicians to score the TMT in practice. In addition, our system provides a structured report of the analysis of the test, for example indicating missed or erroneously connected nodes, thereby offering more objective, transparent and explainable results to the clinician. We evaluate our system with 40 elderly subjects from a geriatrics daycare clinic of a large hospital.