Conference date and location: 24-26 October, 2011, Dundee, Scotland
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • contact mail
Schedule pages sign

The Design of Human-Powered Access Technology

Jeffrey Bigham, Richard Ladner and Yevgen Borodin


People with disabilities have always overcome accessibility problems by enlisting people in their community to help. The Internet has broadened the available community and made it easier to get on-demand assistance remotely. In particular, the past few years have seen the development of technology in both research and industry that uses human power to overcome technical problems too difficult to solve automatically. In this paper, we frame recent developments in human computation in the historical context of accessibility, and outline a framework for discussing new advances in human-powered access technology. Specifically, we present a set of 13 design principles for human-powered access technology motivated both by historical context and current technological developments. We then demonstrate the utility of these principles by using them to compare several existing human-powered access technologies. The power of identifying the 13 principles is that they will inspire new ways of thinking about human-powered access technologies.

Back to List of Accepted Papers
Photo by macieklew and used under creative commons