Impact Award

The SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award is presented every other year (in odd-numbered years) to the authors of an ASSETS conference paper that has had a significant impact on computing and information technology that addresses the needs of persons with disabilities. The award recognizes work that presents a significant innovation or contribution to knowledge that has proved influential.

The selection committee will focus on a paper’s impact as judged by influence in the research community, a community of practice, industry, and/or social impact resulting from the work. The award includes a $500 prize and a plaque of recognition for the paper’s authors. A public citation for the award will be placed on the SIGACCESS website. The ASSETS registration fee for one author of the selected paper will be waived if the author is able to attend the ASSETS conference to receive the award.

Technical papers presented 10 or more years prior to the award year are eligible. For instance, for the 2025 award, papers published at ASSETS 2015 or earlier are eligible.

Suggesting a paper for consideration

Is there an ASSETS paper, published in 2015 or earlier, that has influenced your work? To jog your memory, there’s a list of most cited ASSETS papers(scroll down to the ‘Most popular’ section). Or you can visit and look for papers at ASSETS in the appropriate time range. You aren’t limited to these lists: if there is a paper that has influenced you, we’d like to hear about it. Previous award winners are listed below.

Submitting a nomination for the award

Submissions for the 2025 award will open in Spring 2025.

Nominations for the award should include:

  1. A statement summarizing the paper’s impact, the significance of the work, and justification of the nomination (two pages maximum);
  2. Up to three endorsements supporting the nomination, and describing the significant contributions of the paper. Each endorsement should be no more than 300 words.

The nomination rules are:

  • The nominated paper can be any full technical paper appearing in the ASSETS proceedings 10+ years prior to the award year.
  • The nominator must be a SIGACCESS member.
  • The nominator and the endorsers must not be authors of the nominated paper.
  • Nominations that do not result in an award will be reconsidered for one further award cycle, with the option of updating the original nomination to reflect additional impact. Subsequently, a new nomination must be provided.
  • Papers with authors who are current members of the SIGACCESS Executive Committee or members of the Awards Selection Committee are not eligible.

Please send your nomination by email to the Awards selection committee chair.

Selection Committee

The 2025 Awards Selection Committee has not yet been announced. The 2023 Awards Selection committee wais originally chaired by Dr Shari Trewin from Google, USA, joined by Dr Jeffrey Bigham from Apple and Carnegie-Mellon University, USA, and Professor Tiago Guerreiro, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Due to conflicts of interest, both Shari Trewin and Jeff Bigham recused themselves from the 2023 decision, and Tiago Guerreiro and appointees of the SIGACCESS Executive Committee made the final determination for the award.

The SIGACCESS Awards Selection Committee members are appointed by the current SIGACCESS officers and serve staggered three year terms. The committee chair adjudicates conflicts of interest, appointing substitutes to the committee as necessary.

2023 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award Winner

Empowering individuals with do-it-yourself assistive technology Author(s): Amy Hurst and Jasmine Tobias Description: The SIGACCESS community prides itself on directing the technology community’s understanding of disabled people and the role technology serves in their lives. Over the past decade, this community has diversified its view of assistive technologies and considered various ways that technology can serve individuals’ unique experiences of disability rather than generalizing across broad groups. Designing for the N of 1 is a unique …

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2021 SIGACCESS ASSETS Impact Award Winner

Disability studies as a source of critical inquiry for the field of assistive technology Author(s):Jennifer Mankoff, Gillian R. Hayes, and Devva Kasnitz. Description: In October 2010 at ASSETS, Jennifer Mankoff, Gillian R. Hayes, and Devva Kasnitz published this paper which was the first to identify and bridge the gap between the assistive technology research field and the field of critical disability studies. Bringing decades of critical thought in social and behavioral sciences to computer scientists, …

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2019 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award winner

Slide rule: making mobile touch screens accessible to blind people using multi-touch interaction techniques. Author(s): Shaun K. Kane, Jeffrey P. Bigham, and Jacob O. Wobbrock. Description: In October 2008 at ASSETS, Shaun Kane, Jeff Bigham, and Jacob Wobbrock described their work on an experimental screen reader system called Slide Rule. The paper took a risk, studying a technology, touchscreen devices, that seemed inherently inaccessible to blind users and demonstrated convincingly that they could be made …

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2017 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award winner

Providing access to graphical user interfaces—not graphical screens

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2015 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award Winners Announced

Designing for Dynamic Diversity: Interfaces for Older People

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Chieko Asakawa and Takashi Itoh: 2013 Impact Award

User Interface of a Home Page Reader

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