Google Research

AI for Accessibility: An Agenda for the Global South

ASSETS 2023 A11yFutures Workshop , ACM (2023)


AI technologies have the potential to improve the quality of life for marginalized populations, including people with disabilities. However, a majority of these AI solutions are designed for people in the Global North and so far, have marginalized the needs of people with disabilities in the Global South. Yet, the increased proliferation of AI across the world suggests that this trend will change. This prompts the question: What are key considerations for the design for AI solutions that center the needs of people with disabilities in the Global South: contexts often marked by poverty, limited resource availability, lack of accessible support structures and indifferent societal attitudes towards people with disabilities? In this position paper, we begin to answer this question. To do so, we draw upon a case study of designing a novel AI solution to support the indoor navigation practices of people with visual impairments. We provide guidance to HCI, AI, and Accessibility researchers and practitioners to aid in their quest to design more inclusive AI technologies.

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