Call for Technical Papers

The ASSETS conference is the premier forum for presenting research on the design, evaluation, use, and education related to computing for people with disabilities and older adults. We invite high-quality original submissions on topics relevant to computing and accessibility.

Submissions should present significant contributions to design, systems, tools, scientific understanding, methodology, or social issues. Relevant topics include (but are not limited to) new enabling technologies, studies of how technologies are used by people with disabilities, explorations of barriers to access, and evaluations of accessibility education methods. It is expected that, in most cases, a paper’s research contributions will be validated through research activities conducted within the target user groups. Papers that include a technical contribution without being validated through research activities with representative users are unlikely to be accepted.

Authors should refer to the General Writing Guidelines for Technology and People with Disabilities when preparing submissions.

Accepted technical papers will be presented at the conference and will appear in the conference proceedings. For the accepted papers, at least one author must register as the presenter by the early registration deadline to be included in the proceedings. All authors of accepted papers will be invited to submit extended versions of their papers to a special issue of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS).

Authors who have never published at ASSETS can request a mentor. Mentors will be experienced ASSETS contributors, who can help authors to improve their submissions. See the Call for Mentors page for more information.

Important Dates


All deadlines are 5 P.M. Pacific Time (PT).

  • Friday, February 19, 2021 – Mentoring request deadline,
  • Wednesday, April 14, 2021 – Technical Paper submission deadline,
  • Monday, May 24, 2021 – Initial Technical Paper reviews sent to authors, rebuttal phase opens,
  • Tuesday, June 1, 2021 – Rebuttal phase closes,
  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 – Technical Paper acceptance decisions sent to authors,
  • Monday, June 21, 2021 – Student Volunteer deadline,
  • Monday, July 12, 2021 - Final versions of accepted papers due. Following this deadline, authors will receive instructions for completing their eRights forms, validating and submitting their paper to TAPS, and submitting their final accessible pdf.
  • Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - Technical Paper video presentations due,

Submission Guidelines

Format and Length

Quick facts:

  • We will be using The ACM Publication System (TAPS) process to generate final multi-format representations of accepted papers.
  • The correct template for submission is: single column Word Submission Template and single column LaTeX (using “manuscript” style available in the template).

The length of technical papers is 10 pages and the length of short papers is 5 pages; note that references do not count towards these pages limits. However, due to the TAPS template and post-processing steps, the number of pages in the final PDF may differ from the submitted source file. We recommend that authors prepare a manuscript of ~7,500-10,000 words to equate to the prior 10-page limit. Papers with many figures and tables should err on the shorter side of the word count range. Shorter submissions are also welcome, as the paper's length should be commensurate with its contribution.

Submissions should use templates that can be found in the Submission Templates page.

Video figures up to five minutes long may be optionally submitted as supplementary material. Video figures are strongly encouraged for papers that introduce a novel system or interaction technique. Video figures should be in .mp4 format and should be less than 50 MB. Please also refer to the guidance on Accessible Video Figures.

Accessible Submissions

Accessible PDFs

Your PDF file must be accessible. PDFs created with LaTeX are very difficult to make accessible, unless you edit the output directly in Acrobat; we strongly suggest using Microsoft Word due to the easier accessibility workflow. It may take several hours to make your file accessible (adding alt tags, etc.), so be sure to leave time before the submission deadline to do so. Please refer to the instructions on Creating an Accessible ACM Conference Paper for information on how to accomplish this.

It is expected that papers will be made accessible both at the time of review and for the final submission. Paper submissions that are not accessible may be desk rejected. If you have questions regarding how to make your paper accessible, please contact . If you think you could benefit from a mentor to help you with this process, please contact .

Accessibility Mentorship

It is important that submissions are accessible. If you are new to this process, refer to the Accessibility Mentorship page and contact the Mentor Chairs at .

Accessible Video Figures

Video figures, like papers, must be accessible. For videos to be accessible, include both audio narration (so that the contents of the video can be understood by someone with a visual impairment) as well as text captions (so that the video can be understood by someone who is deaf or hard of hearing). Text captions can be burned directly into the video as subtitles (preferred), or else closed-captioning metadata files (*.srt, *.ttml, *.vtt) can be uploaded as additional supplementary material.

Anonymous Submissions

ASSETS will utilize a fully-anonymous review process for Technical Papers, in which the authors must anonymize their paper submissions and all supplemental materials. We will follow the standard of SIGCHI in which all author names, affiliations, and contact information is to be removed. You should not anonymize references to your prior work (these are needed as part of the review process). Rather, you should refer to all prior work in the third person. While it may not be possible to remove all clues to who the authors are, we expect authors to do their best. Authors who encounter difficulty applying this anonymization policy to their research are encouraged to contact the program chairs for additional guidance.

Videos should be anonymized for review (i.e., do not include author or institution names in videos).

Review Process

Submissions that do not meet formatting or accessibility guidelines, are not properly anonymized, are out of the topical scope of the conference, or are otherwise deemed non-competitive by the program chairs may be rejected without review. Otherwise, submissions will be peer-reviewed by an international panel, per the ASSETS policy on Program Committees.

Authors with sufficiently high review scores will have an opportunity to submit a “Rebuttal” after viewing the reviews, prior to the final acceptance decisions. The window of time for this rebuttal period is about a week, so authors should plan to make time for this. See Important Dates, above.

Submissions MUST contain substantial original, unpublished material. Please refer to the ACM policy on plagiarism. Writing Guidelines are available to help authors choose appropriate language for writing about technology and people with disabilities. Authors of accepted papers should note that papers may be made publically available in the ACM Digital Library as far as two weeks in advance of the conference date.

Short vs. Long Papers

Short papers are meant to capture more focused, concise research contributions than full papers. Short papers, like full papers, are rigorously peer-reviewed, archival publications. Short papers are not for works-in-progress, incomplete work, etc. (Works-in-progress should be submitted to the Posters and Demos track).

Short paper submissions should use the same template as full-length technical papers, but are limited to five pages. Accepted short papers will appear in the main conference proceedings, and will be orally presented at the conference (in a half-length presentation slot). Short papers should adhere to the same anonymity and accessibility standards as full papers, and are also welcome to submit accompanying video figures, particularly if they introduce a novel system or interaction technique. For either short or long papers, you are not obligated to fill the entire page quota; a good rule of thumb is that the length of your paper should be proportional to the contribution size.

How to submit

The submission deadline is Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 5 p.m. PT. Please submit via the ASSETS 2021 technical papers submission site.

IMPORTANT - Author PCS Account Details

Important information: ACM continues to update the publication process and now paper metadata will be pulled directly from your personal PCS account. This means that it is crucial for you and all of your co-authors to update the contact information so that names, affiliations AND primary email addresses are stylized exactly in the way that you all would want to see them in the ACM digital library and on your paper. For example, if you use a personal email address ( as your primary contact email in PCS then this email will appear on your paper. Please check your author information and make necessary changes .

Further Information

For further information or any questions regarding technical paper submissions, please contact the Program Chairs, Heidi Feng and Faustina Hwang, at .