Domain: Research

Themes: Assistive & Accessible Technology, Inclusive Design

A Workshop on Disability Inclusive Remote Co-Design

An illustration of two way collaboration between disabled people online

Why is this workshop important?

In design history, various terms and methods have been developed to represent users’ participation in the design process. Emerging from the participatory design movement, the co-design approach aims to renegotiate roles and power dynamics between researchers, designers, and participants [8,10] and create an inclusive space for engaging in more equitable co-creation activities. Disabled people have been excluded from significant positions in design activities resulting in disenfranchisement and powerlessness.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have explored ways to adapt co-design methods from physical to digital spaces to ensure that participatory activities could continue even when in-person engagement was not possible. While recent work has demonstrated clear benefits of online co-design, such as accessing “hard to reach” populations and reduced cost of running co-design workshops, it also highlights the challenges including barriers to participation due to “poor internet connection” and lack of participant engagement with the activities (e.g., mic on mute, video switched off). Additionally, for disabled people, the shift to digital has been a double-edged sword. While online collaboration has lifted the burden of travelling to workshop venues, the inaccessibility of online collaboration platforms has restricted participants’ engagement and contribution. It also places the burden of adapting to the online collaboration space on the participants, which may present additional challenges for people who are unfamiliar with or faced with inaccessible collaboration methods and tools.

Workshop goals and outputs

The main goal of this workshop is to provide a space for reflection on the strategies researchers and designers have used to conduct virtual/remote co-design with disabled and ageing populations and drive an agenda for future disability inclusive research and design in HCI.

The workshop aims to develop a community of practice around inclusive and accessible co-design. The community will be set up on the Discord platform for workshop participants prior to the workshop and, after the workshop, will also be made open to the public through free membership. The community of practice will produce an open-source repository of methods, toolkits, and best practices on in-person, remote, and hybrid co-design workshops with disabled and ageing populations. A selection of case studies from the workshop participants will be published in an article in ACM Interactions Magazine.

Call for Participation

We invite researchers, practitioners, and designers with an interest in creating accessible online co-design methods and tools for people of all abilities to submit case studies from their recent work in co-design.

Submissions can be made in the form of case studies or position papers (up to 1,000 words excluding references) in the single-column submission template stating their existing work or their position with respect to the workshop topic. Submissions should also include up to two discussion points and issues that participants would like to discuss in the workshop.

We also welcome alternate submissions in the form of presentation slides, posters, and video presentations. Authors must ensure the accessibility of their submission by following the ASSETS’22 Guidelines (

Submissions can be made, by October 10, 2022, via registration form.

The submissions can be individual or group. If accepted, at least one author must attend the workshop at ASSETS’22 (online) and should prepare a short overview of their work to the workshop participants (no slides needed). All accepted submissions will be published on the website prior to the workshop.

All workshop participants (and their co-authors) will be invited to co-author an article which would be published in ACM Interactions Magazine after the workshop. Participants interested in co-authoring the article can indicate so on the registration form.

Workshop Organisers

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Maryam Bandukda
Maryam Bandukda is a final year PhD student at University College London Interaction Centre (UCLIC) and Global Disability Innovation Hub. Maryam’s PhD research focuses on enabling and enhancing experiences of blind and partially sighted people in open spaces through participatory and co-creation methods. During the pandemic, Maryam has explored accessible methods for to overcome the barriers to blind and partially sighted people’s participation in online research. Her EPSRC funded PhD research is supervised by Prof. Catherine Holloway, Prof. Nadia Berthouze, and Dr. Aneesha Singh.
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Giulia Barbareschi
Giulia Barbareschi is a JSPS Research Fellow in Disability and Assistive Technology Innovation at the Keio School of Media Design in Yokohama and an honorary lecturer at the Global Disability Innovation Hub and the UCL Interaction Centre in London. Her research interest centres on the design, development, and evaluation of new and existing technologies to empower people with disabilities living in different parts of the world. A recent focus has been on how assistive technology influence self and external perceptions of disability across diverse cultures and how the work of disabled artist can help to shift existing stereotypes surrounding disability. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Giulia has been exploring different ways to make co-creation processes more accessible and engaging through the combination of hybrid approaches featuring both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
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Aneesha Singh
Aneesha Singh is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Human Computer Interaction at UCLIC. She is interested in the design, adoption and use of personal health and well-being technologies in everyday contexts. Her research focuses on digital health, ubiquitous computing, multisensory feedback and wearable technology, especially in sensitive and stigmatized populations. Aneesha has explored remote and in-person codesign methods to explore user needs for technology design in the context of her work.
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Dhruv Jain

Dhruv “DJ” Jain is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, advised by Prof. Jon Froehlich and Prof. Leah Findlater. His research intersects human-computer interaction (HCI) and applied machine learning and focuses on inventing novel sound sensing and feedback techniques to support accessibility applications.
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Matiraye Das

Maitraye Das is a PhD candidate in Technology and Social Behavior at Northwestern University. Her research in Human-Computer Interaction and accessible computing primarily focuses on making collaborative content production more accessible and equitable in ability-diverse teams, i.e., teams involving people with and without disabilities. Taking a community-centered research approach, she investigates what roles technology and design play in creating accessibility in the contexts of collaborative writing, creative making, and remote work. Maitraye has conducted remote and in-person design exploration studies with blind and visually impaired writers and fiber artists pre- and during pandemic. [Website:]
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Tamanna Motahar

Tamanna Motahar is a Ph.D. student in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. Her research broadly focuses on the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Personal Informatics, and Accessibility. Through user-centric approaches, her research aims to understand how Personal Informatics can better help individuals with severe motor disabilities in their self-care activities. Her research goal is to design accessible technologies to impact and empower marginalised populations worldwide with their personal data. Her PhD work is supervised by Prof. Jason Wiese.
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Jason Wiese

Jason Wiese is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. His Human-Centered Computing research program is primarily focused on personal informatics and health, with a particular focus on technology users who have motor disabilities. He has published on the accessibility of HCI methods to people with motor disabilities and has conducted remote and in-person studies with this population as well.
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Lynn Cockburn

Lynn Cockburn is an Occupational Therapist, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on mental health, community development, and disability-inclusive research.
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Amit Prakash

Amit Prakash is Associate Professor and Convenor of the Centre for Accessibility in the Global South (CAGS) at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore. The focus of his recent research and consulting efforts has been equity and inclusion in matters related to technology designs and policy choices. He has co-founded Vision Empower and Vembi Technologies, which are working to create accessible learning ecosystems and digital solutions for children with visual impairments in India. [Profile page:]
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David Frohlich

David Frohlich is Professor of Interaction Design and Director of Digital World Research Centre at the University of Surrey, UK. The Centre is currently researching the topic of ‘Assistive media for health and wellbeing’ to understand the therapeutic nature of media in a variety of contexts. These include dementia care, loneliness in older people, and digital sight correction on headsets and 3D screens. David developed a simple co-design process called Focusgroup+ with older people’s groups and has been trying this out remotely during the pandemic.
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Catherine Holloway
Catherine Holloway is Professor of Interaction Design and Innovation at UCL Interaction Centre, the Academic Director and co-founder of Global Disability Innovation Hub and co-director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Assistive Technology at UCL. Her research focusses on the intersection of disability, design and innovation and has spearheaded the disability interactions framework for human-computer interaction.