Introducing People with ASD to Crowd Work


Kotaro Hara and Jeffrey P. Bigham


Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are unemployed at a high rate, in part because the constraints and expectations of traditional employment can be difficult for them. In this paper, we report on our work in introducing people with ASD to remote work on a crowdsourcing platform and a prototype tool we developed by working with participants. We conducted a sixweek long user-centered design study with three participants with ASD. The early stage of the study focused on assessing the abilities of our participants to search and work on micro-tasks available on the crowdsourcing market. Based on our preliminary findings, we designed, developed, and evaluated a prototype tool to facilitate image transcription tasks that are increasingly popular on crowd labor markets. Our findings suggest that people with ASD have varying levels of ability to work on micro-tasks, but are likely to be able to work on tasks like image transcription. The tool we introduce, Assistive Task Queue (ATQ), facilitated our participants’ completion of image transcription tasks by removing ambiguity in finding the next task to work on and in simplifying tasks into discrete steps. ATQ may serve as a general platform for finding and delivering appropriate tasks to workers with autism.