Our resulting paper "‘That’s in the eye of the beholder’: Layers of Interpretation in Image Descriptions for Fictional Representations of People with Disabilities
” was accepted by the ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers & Accessibility (ASSETS ‘21
) with a total conference acceptance rate of 29%. The paper is completely open access and can be found at the embedded link above. Our paper was selected to be showcased live at ASSETS '21. Below is the video presentation supplied for the conference of our lead researcher Emory introducing the paper and summarizing its primary findings.
Unique to this project was its ties to both academia and industry. Our team was well aware of this, and also very concerned about the impact of our research. It was crucial to our team that we sought to extend past academic circles, and to make our research accessible to the everyday user. Throughout the project, myself and my labmates presented our findings to our industry partners at Google. From this, our team was invited to collaborate on updating Google's imagery guidelines, based on our own research. The research we conducted was provided to Google Material Design and further informed guidelines in-use internally. These guidelines directly inform the imagery interacted with by millions of end users daily.
In terms of scale, Google has notified our team that the images and descriptions we assessed and co-created will be shipped out on all Google Chromebooks starting November 2021, an estimated 40 million computers. This marks the first instance of accessible user representations of disability included in any user profile setup
. Our research was also documented in this co-authored article on Google Material Design's Blog
, which you can read to learn more about our study and it's real-world impact.
Myself, as well as the rest of the team is beyond proud of our research and its impact. Though the end-result is nothing I could have ever imagined, I am honored to have served as part of a larger goal in making millions of users feel seen, understood, and included.