"I just thought it was me": How Smartphones Fail Users with Mild-to-Moderate Dexterity Differences

Molly Bowman
Jerry Young
Erin Buehler
Proceedings of ASSETS 2023(2023)


Accessibility solutions often focus on the experiences of people with more severe disabilities, such as those who are unable to perform certain tasks unassisted. However, disability exists on a spectrum, and people with more moderate disabilities may not be included in research, or may not be considered disabled within research. In this study, we interviewed 12 adults with mild-to-moderate dexterity impairments about their experiences using smartphones and other mobile devices. Our participants did experience accessibility challenges but sometimes struggled to know where to find help for their problems, in part because of discomfort with traditional labels of disability and accessibility. We suggest that individuals with mild to moderate dexterity challenges may benefit from further consideration from the accessibility community and accessibility features that support their needs.