"Accessibility came by accident": Use of voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants by people with disabilities

Alisha Pradhan, Kanika Mehta, Leah Findlater

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

274 Scopus citations

Abstract

From an accessibility perspective, voice-controlled, home-based intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) have the potential to greatly expand speech interaction beyond dictation and screen reader output. To examine the accessibility of off-the-shelf IPAs (e.g., Amazon Echo) and to understand how users with disabilities are making use of these devices, we conducted two exploratory studies. The first, broader study is a content analysis of 346 Amazon Echo reviews that include users with disabilities, while the second study more specifically focuses on users with visual impairments, through interviews with 16 current users of home-based IPAs. Findings show that, although some accessibility challenges exist, users with a range of disabilities are using the Amazon Echo, including for unexpected cases such as speech therapy and support for caregivers. Richer voice-based applications and solutions to support discoverability would be particularly useful to users with visual impairments. These findings should inform future work on accessible voice-based IPAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Apr 21 2018Apr 26 2018

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2018-April

Other

Other2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period4/21/184/26/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Conversational interfaces
  • Disability
  • Intelligent personal assistants
  • Speech

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