Emoji Accessibility for Visually Impaired People

Garreth W. Tigwell, Benjamin M. Gorman, Rachel Menzies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Emoji are graphical symbols that appear in many aspects of our lives. Worldwide, around 36 million people are blind and 217 million have a moderate to severe visual impairment. This portion of the population may use and encounter emoji, yet it is unclear what accessibility challenges emoji introduce. We first conducted an online survey with 58 visually impaired participants to understand how they use and encounter emoji online, and the challenges they experience. We then conducted 11 interviews with screen reader users to understand more about the challenges reported in our survey findings. Our interview findings demonstrate that technology is both an enabler and a barrier, emoji descriptors can hinder communication, and therefore the use of emoji impacts social interaction. Using our findings from both studies, we propose best practice when using emoji and recommendations to improve the future accessibility of emoji for visually impaired people.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '20
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
EventCHI 2020: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Hawaiʻi Convention Center, Oahu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020
https://chi2020.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceCHI 2020
Abbreviated titleCHI 2020
CountryUnited States
CityOahu
Period25/04/2030/04/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • accessibility
  • cmc
  • emoji
  • visual impairments

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  • Cite this

    Tigwell, G. W., Gorman, B. M., & Menzies, R. (2020). Emoji Accessibility for Visually Impaired People. In CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems [3376267] Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376267