"Hey, Can You Add Captions?": The Critical Infrastructuring Practices of Neurodiverse People on TikTok Journal Article uri icon



  • Accessibility efforts, how we can make the world usable and useful to as many people as possible, have focused on how we can support and allow for the autonomy and independence of people with disabilities, neurodivergencies, chronic conditions, and older adults. Despite these efforts, not all technology is designed or implemented to support everyone's needs. TikTok. Recently, a community-organized push by creators and general users of TikTok urged the platform to add accessibility features, such as closed captioning, to allow more people to use the platform with greater ease. Through an interview study exploring the experiences of creatives on TikTok, we explore the creative practices of people with ADHD and those who experience similar challenges, focusing on the kinds of accessibility they create through their creative work. We find that creatives engage in critical infrastructuring--a process of bottom-up (re)design--to make the platform more accessible despite the challenges the platform presents to them as creators through creating and augmenting video editing and video captioning infrastructures. We then reflect on how the introduction of a top-down infrastructure - the implementation of an auto-captioning feature - shifts the critical infrastructure practices of TikTok creatives. Through their infrastructuring, creatives were revising the broader sociotechnical capabilities of TikTok to support their own needs as well as the broader needs of the TikTok community. We discuss how the routine of infrastructuring accessibility is a form of incidental care work and highlight how accessibility is an evolving sociotechnical construct, forwarding the concept of contextual accessibility.

publication date

  • April 14, 2023

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • January 28, 2024 12:27 PM

Full Author List

  • Simpson E; Dalal S; Semaan B

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 27


  • 7


  • CSCW1