Working at the Intersection of Race, Disability, and Accessibility
Examinations of intersectionality and identity dimensions in accessibility research have primarily considered disability separately from a person’s race and ethnicity. Accessibility work often does not include considerations of race as a construct, or treats race as a shallow demographic variable, if race is mentioned at all. The lack of attention to race as a construct in accessibility research presents an oversight in our field, often systematically eliminating whole areas of need and vital perspectives from the work we do. Further, there has been little focus on the intersection of race and disability within accessibility research, and the relevance of their interplay. When research in race or disability does not mention the other, this work overlooks the potential to better understand the full nuance of marginalized and “otherized” groups. To address this gap, we present a series of case studies exploring the potential for research that lies at the intersection of race and disability. We provide examples of how to integrate racial equity perspectives into accessibility research, through positive examples found in these case studies and reflect on teaching at the intersection of race, disability, and technology. This paper highlights the value of considering how constructs of race and disability work alongside each other within accessibility research studies, designs of socio-technical systems, and education. Our analysis provides recommendations towards establishing this research direction.
Harrington, C. N., Desai, A., Lewis, A., Moharana, S., Ross, A. S. & Mankoff, J. Working at the Intersection of Race, Disability, and Accessibility. ASSETS 2023. https://doi.org/10.1145/3597638.3608389