Apple is sponsoring the twenty-second ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS), which will be held virtually from October 26 to 28. ASSETS is a global conference focused on education surrounding computing for older adults and people with disabilities.

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Conference Accepted Paper

Making Smartphone Augmented Reality Apps Accessible

Jaylin Herskovitz, Jason Wu, Sam White, Amy Pavel, Anhong Guo, Gabriel Reyes, Jeffrey Bigham

Augmented Reality (AR) technology creates new immersive experiences in entertainment, games, education, retail, and social media. AR content is often primarily visual and it is challenging to enable access to it non-visually due to the mix of virtual and real-world content. In this paper, we identify common constituent tasks in AR by analyzing existing mobile AR applications for iOS, and characterize the design space of tasks that require accessible alternatives. For each of the major task categories, we create prototype accessible alternatives that we evaluate in a study with 10 blind participants to explore their perceptions of accessible AR. Our study demonstrates that these prototypes make AR possible to use for blind users and reveals a number of insights to move forward. We believe our work sets forth not only exemplars for developers to create accessible AR applications, but also a roadmap for future research to make AR comprehensively accessible.

Related readings and updates.

When Can Accessibility Help? An Exploration of Accessibility Feature Recommendation on Mobile Devices

Numerous accessibility features have been developed and included in consumer operating systems to provide people with a variety of disabilities additional ways to access computing devices. Unfortunately, many users, especially older adults who are more likely to experience ability changes, are not aware of these features or do not know which combination to use. In this paper, we first quantify this problem via a survey with 100 participants…
See paper details

Making Smartphone Augmented Reality Apps Accessible

Augmented Reality (AR) technology creates new immersive experiences in entertainment, games, education, retail, and social media. AR content is often primarily visual and it is challenging to enable access to it non-visually due to the mix of virtual and real-world content. In this paper, we identify common constituent tasks in AR by analyzing existing mobile AR applications for iOS, and characterize the design space of tasks that require…
See paper details