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What Do We Mean by "Accessibility Research"? A Literature Survey of Accessibility Papers in CHI and ASSETS from 1994 to 2019

by   Kelly Mack, et al.

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 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.


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