Representing users in accessibility research

Andrew Sears, Vicki L. Hanson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    53 Citations (Scopus)


    The need to study representative users is widely accepted within the human-computer interaction (HCI) community. While exceptions exist, and alternative populations are sometimes studied, virtually any introduction to the process of designing user interfaces will discuss the importance of understanding the intended users as well as the significant impact individual differences can have on how effectively individuals can use various technologies. HCI researchers are expected to provide relevant demographics regarding study participants as well as information about experience using similar technologies. Yet, in the field of accessibility we continue to see studies that do not appropriately include representative users. Highlighting ways to remedy this multifaceted problem, we argue that expectations regarding how accessibility research is conducted and reported must be raised if this field is to have the desired impact with regard to inclusive design, the information technologies studied, and the lives of the individuals being studied.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCHI 2011
    Subtitle of host publicationconference proceedings and extended abstracts : 29th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 7-12, 2011
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450302289 (CD)
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 May 201112 May 2011


    ConferenceACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Abbreviated titleCHI 2011
    Internet address


    • Accessible computing
    • Accessibility
    • Disabilities
    • Older adults
    • Inclusion
    • Representative users
    • Experimentation
    • Human factors


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