The Invisible Labor of Access in Academic Writing Practices: A Case Analysis with Dyslexic Adults

Emily Q. Wang, Anne Marie Piper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Writing is the currency of academia. Although technology-mediated writing has been studied extensively in CSCW, we know little about how writing practices unfold with disabled people, such as dyslexic writers whose neurodivergence shapes how they process language. Our qualitative analysis reveals how dyslexic professionals simultaneously identify how editing tools break down on academic language; develop workarounds that re-appropriate other tools as language sources; cultivate ad-hoc collaborations to compensate for technology's limitations; and navigate culturally ingrained ableist expectations for writing. We discuss how dyslexic writers' experiences with shouldering invisible work to participate in academic writing processes indicates that current tools and services do not support their needs. We then draw on our findings to inform design opportunities to make writing processes more accessible through changes to writing tools, institutional services, and peer review practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW1
StatePublished - Apr 7 2022


  • academic writing
  • accessibility
  • collaboration
  • dyslexia
  • writing tools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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