The Crowd Work Accessibility Problem


Saiganesh Swaminathan, Kotaro Hara, and Jeffrey P. Bigham


W4A '17: Proceedings of the 14th International Web for All Conference, April 2017, Article No.: 6, Pages 1–4, https://doi.org/10.1145/3058555.3058569


Crowd work is an increasingly prevalent and important kind of work. Because of its flexible nature, crowd work may offer benefits for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, people with disabilities currently lack access to much of this work because the tasks that are posted are often inaccessible. In this paper, we first characterize the accessibility of the tasks posted to a popular crowd marketplace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, by performing manual and automatic checks on 120 tasks from several common types. We then outline research directions that could have positive impact on this problem. Given ongoing and upcoming changes to the world economy and technological progress, we believe it is important to find a way to make sure people with disabilities are able to equally participate in this kind of work.