Experiencing Access with Interactive Technologies

How is access experienced in interaction with modern technologies? With an increased move towards digitising aspects of our everyday lives, there is an urgent need to understand the fundamentals of how access can be conceptualised, implemented and flexible to situated engagements.

ACCESSTECH investigates the deeper theories behind access as a component affecting interaction with technologies for disabled people through Participatory Research through Design. We approach experiences of access along four paths of inquiry: 1) We identify the needed research and design parameters enabling us to produce knowledges about access-enabling technologies. 2) We establish which methods are required to design and develop critical technologies that are rooted in disability cultures as well as accepted and desired by disabled people. 3) We explore a range of different technologies to understand how they afford different kinds of access experiences. 4) We conceptualise and articulate access experiences as a distinct aspect shaping the interactive characteristics of modern technologies on a theoretical level. Each of these paths informs disability centred practices and theories in HCI, though, collectively, ACCESSTECH represents a fundamental paradigm shift in the ways we encounter disabilities and technologies.

ACCESSTECH is a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme (ERC Starting Grant 101117519). The project runs from February 2024 through to January 2029.