Volunteer-Based Online Studies With Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Qisheng Li, Krzysztof Z. Gajos, and Katharina Reinecke



There are few large-scale empirical studies with people with disabilities or older adults, mainly because recruiting participants with specific characteristics is even harder than recruiting young and/or non-disabled populations. Analyzing four online experiments on LabintheWild with a total of 355,656 participants, we show that volunteer-based online experiments that provide personalized feedback attract large numbers of participants with diverse disabilities and ages and allow robust studies with these populations that replicate and extend the findings of prior laboratory studies. To find out what motivates people with disabilities to take part, we additionally analyzed participants' feedback and forum entries that discuss LabintheWild experiments. The results show that participants use the studies to diagnose themselves, compare their abilities to others, quantify potential impairments, self-experiment, and share their own stories - findings that we use to inform design guidelines for online experiment platforms that adequately support and engage people with disabilities.

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Citation Information

Qisheng Li, Krzysztof Z. Gajos, and Katharina Reinecke. Volunteer-based online studies with older adults and people with disabilities. In Proceedings of the 20th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS '18, pages 229-241, New York, NY, USA, 2018. ACM.