Towards Inclusive Avatars: Disability Representation in Avatar Platforms

Kelly Mack, Rai Ching Ling Hsu, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Brian A. Smith, Fannie Liu

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

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Digital avatars are an important part of identity representation, but there is little work on understanding how to represent disability. We interviewed 18 people with disabilities and related identities about their experiences and preferences in representing their identities with avatars. Participants generally preferred to represent their disability identity if the context felt safe and platforms supported their expression, as it was important for feeling authentically represented. They also utilized avatars in strategic ways: as a means to signal and disclose current abilities, access needs, and to raise awareness. Some participants even found avatars to be a more accessible way to communicate than alternatives. We discuss how avatars can support disability identity representation because of their easily customizable format that is not strictly tied to reality. We conclude with design recommendations for creating platforms that better support people in representing their disability and other minoritized identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023
Event2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Apr 23 2023Apr 28 2023

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityHamburg
Period4/23/234/28/23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Keywords

  • avatars
  • disability
  • identity
  • inclusion

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