XR Access will be cosponsoring a workshop on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Transparency and Ethics in XR (IDEATExR) in conjunction with the IEEE VR 2024 conference at Orlando, Florida USA, from March 16-21, 2024.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Guo Freeman, Dean’s Associate Professor in Human-Centered Computing at Clemson University, will be presenting her talk “Designing Inclusive and Safe Social VR Systems to Protect Marginalized Communities.”

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Guo Freeman

Guo Freeman, an Asian woman with long dark hair wearing a blue blouse. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Guo Freeman of Clemson University will be our keynote speaker at the IDEATExR workshop for IEEEVR ’24 in Orlando Florida. Her talk, Designing Inclusive and Safe Social VR Systems to Protect Marginalized Communities, will be given at 13:30 on Saturday March 16th, 2024.


In recent years, the growing popularity of commercial social VR platforms such as VR Chat, RecRoom, and Meta Horizon Worlds is dramatically transforming how people meet, interact, play, and collaborate online. These platforms have drawn aspects from traditional multiplayer online games and 3D virtual worlds where users engage in various immersive experiences, interactive activities, and choices through avatar based online representations. However, social VR also demonstrates specific nuances, including full/partial body tracked avatars, synchronous voice conversations, and simulated touching and grabbing features. These novel characteristics have led to varied issues regarding inclusion and safety, including greater instances of online harassment and new power dynamics compared to traditional 3D virtual worlds/online gaming or single-user VR. In this talk, Dr. Guo Freeman will introduce her recent research on novel opportunities and emerging risks in social VR. She will explain her ongoing work on leveraging innovative technologies, such as AI-based moderation and consent mechanisms, for proactively mitigating said risks in social VR. She will also highlight potential future directions for designing safer, inclusive, and more supportive social VR systems to especially protect marginalized communities such as women, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ individuals.

About Guo Freeman

Dr. Guo Freeman is a Dean’s Associate Professor in Human-Centered Computing at Clemson University. At Clemson, she directs the Gaming and Mediated Experience Lab (CUGAME). Her work focuses on how interactive technologies such as multiplayer online games, esports, live streaming, and social VR shape interpersonal relationships and group behavior; and how to design safe, inclusive, and supportive social VR spaces to combat emergent harassment risks. Her research is also uniquely driven by her focus on marginalized technology users due to their gender, race, sexuality, age, and disability, including women, LGBTQ individuals, ethnic minorities, minors, and persons with disabilities. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and won 13 Best Paper/Honorable Mentions Awards (top 3%-5%) at ACM SIGCHI venues. She has secured $20.4 million in external grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), US Army, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. She especially dedicates to broadening women’s and minorities’ participation in computing and was a Grace Hopper Women in Computing Faculty Mentor. She is also a highly dedicated member of the ACM SIGCHI community and has taken numerous leading editorial and organizational roles in SIGCHI throughout her career, including: ACM CHI PLAY 2024 General Chair; ACM GROUP 2025 General Chair; ACM CHI PLAY Steering Committee member; ACM CHI PLAY Papers Chair in 2022 and 2023; and ACM IMX 2021 Technical Program/Papers Chair.

Workshop Schedule

Time Event
8:30 – 8:40 Welcome & Opening Remarks

  1. Supporting Individuals with Photophobia in VR: A Case Study of VR Shades, an Accessible VR Application with Feature Prototype – Aaron Gluck, Boise State University
  2. An Online Survey Assessing the Accessibility Barriers Encountered by Users of Virtual and Augmented Reality – Per Ola Kristensson, University of Cambridge
  3. Ergonomic Hand Motion Assistance and AR Rehabilitation: Bridging the Gap in Tremor Disorder Therapies through DEI-focused Mixed Reality – Xinjun Li, Cornell University, & Zhenhong Lei, Rhode Island School of Design
  4. Work-in-Progress: Lessons Learned from Using Exergame, 3D Avatar-Based Feedback for Yoga-Self Training in a Preparatory Study – Clarissa Anjani, University of Cambridge
  5. Improving Inclusion of Virtual Reality Through Enhancing Interactions in Low-Fidelity VR – Kristen Grinyer, Carleton University
9:40 – 10:00 A Guide on XR Access – Dylan Fox (XR Access)
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:00 LIGHTNING TALKS

  1. ASL Champ: A New Dimension of Learning American Sign Language in Virtual Reality – Md Shahinur Alam, Gallaudet University
  2. XR Research Avenues for Deaf Users – Abraham Glasser, Gallaudet University
  3. Immersive Serious Games and Bio-signals in the Cognitive Therapy of People with Intellectual Disabilities – Jesús Gutiérrez, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
11:00 – 12:00 Discussion Session I: Accessibility in Mixed Reality
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 Keynote Speaker – Dr. Guo Freeman (Clemson University)
Designing Inclusive and Safe Social VR Systems to Protect Marginalized Communities

  1. Don’t Forget Our Presence: Exploring VR for Older Adults – Aaron Gluck, Boise State University
  2. Navigating Gender Biases in XR: Towards Equitable Technological Future – Jayasri Sai Nikitha Guthula, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  3. EthnoVR 3.0: Fostering Ethnocultural Empathy and Mitigating Ethnocentrism through Immersive Virtual Environments and Virtual Reality Perspective Taking – Daria Hemmerling, AGH University of Science and Technology
  4. ARELE-bot: Inclusive Learning of Spanish as a Foreign Language Through a Mobile App Integrating Augmented Reality and ChatGPT – Gustavo Marfia, University of Bologna
  5. Deceptive Patterns and Perceptual Risks in an Eye Tracked Virtual Reality – Gabriella Nicole Ramirez, Virginia Tech
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 – 16:20 Creating a Diverse and Supportive Lab – Dr. Aleshia Hayes (University of North Texas)
16:20 – 17:20 Discussion Session II: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Mixed Reality Research
17:20 – 17:30 Closing remarks

We are quite excited to shine a light on our key goals with IDEATExR, and hope that our lineup of talks and discussions will foster new research avenues as well as push the boundaries of mixed reality research. We can’t wait to see you in Orlando!

IDEATExR Call for Papers


The potential benefits of XR should be for all, regardless of their cultural background, gender identity, race, neurodiversity, ethnicity, economic status, age, etc. However, our community is still facing challenges preventing equal involvement.

Most research within this space relies on the M-WEIRD user populations and is done by M-WEIRD researchers (Male, White, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic), effectively missing most of the world’s population [1], thus hindering generalizability of findings and diversity of ideas. In fact, approximately 95% of the global population is excluded from VR research [1] and only 15% of first-paper authors at ISMAR and IEEEVR are women [2]. Moreover, the ethics informing XR research have been identified as one of the grand challenges facing human-computer interaction research today, with the replication crisis featuring transparency as a critical step for remediation.

These factors make formal discussions surrounding inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, transparency, and ethics in XR not only timely – but necessary. And we want you to be a part of them. It’s important to note that these concerns are also relevant to technical work not involving human participants as they also play a role in research teams, ideas, proposed solutions, conduct, etc.


  1. To provide a vehicle through which to understand better the pulse of the community surrounding issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, transparency, and ethics in XR,
  2. To shine a spotlight on these issues for community members who perhaps haven’t seen or given them much consideration,
  3. To celebrate those that are engaging in research either true to the spirit of inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, transparency, and ethics in XR, or those engaging in research about these topics specifically,
  4. To help researchers better understand how to ensure their work are more inclusive, diverse, equitable, accessible, transparent, and ethical, particularly in their software and study design,
  5. To spotlight how people are represented in XR technologies (or not) as researchers, designers, participants, and users,
  6. And to bring together disparate perspectives and research foci together under a shared goal to be inclusive, diverse, equitable, accessible, transparent, and ethical in XR. This goal can be shared by software, hardware, and human-focused researchers.

Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to provide their insights on what is working for our community, as well as what isn’t – effectively helping to shape the future of IEEEVR and XR research.

Topics of Interest

This workshop has six facets: inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, transparency, and ethics. We expect researchers to submit early work that has already shown a commitment to one or more of these aforementioned facets. These could include work with diverse participants, work examining skin-tone rendering in AR, computer vision algorithms for differently-abled hands, testing of accessibility and usability of a VR app for those with different sensory abilities, etc. Further, while we anticipate this next type of paper to be rarer, we anticipate papers that feature research explicitly regarding the realm of diversity in XR. Finally, position papers informed by either survey of the literature or profound experience in the facets of this workshop are also well within our scope.

Important Dates

Paper Submission Deadline: Friday January 12th, 2024 (23:59 AoE)

Notification: Monday January 22nd, 2024 (23:59 AoE)

Camera-ready version: Friday January 27th, 2023 (23:59 AoE)


Please note: The submission deadline has passed. We will no longer be accepting new submissions for IDEATExR.

We have two submission options (or ‘formal’ ways to engage with IDEATExR)!

  1. We welcome paper submissions from 2-4 pages, excluding references. Authors should also provide a brief explanation (At least one paragraph; no more than 1 page attached in supplementary materials) of how they feel their paper fits into this workshop or achieves the workshop’s facets. Paper quality versus length will be assessed according to a contribution-per-page judgment. Papers will be considered in relation to their intended scientific merit AND their contribution or adherence to inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, transparency, and ethics in XR.
  2. We welcome lightning talk proposals 1 page in length, excluding references (what your talk is about and how it fits into IDEATExR). These are 5-10 minute ‘talks’. They can be used to promote an idea, share preliminary ideas and get feedback, or propose collaborations based around the goals of IDEATExR. These will NOT be published papers (though recordings may be posted with author permission) but are instead a way for community members to contribute ideas or generate discussion without the need to write a paper.

Submissions must be written in English and follow the IEEE Computer Society VGTC format.

Submissions will be reviewed by at least 2 program committee members following a double-blind review process. Accepted papers will be given guidelines for preparing and submitting the final manuscript(s) together with the notification of acceptance.

More information and submission guidelines can be found at the workshop website. Please direct any questions to Lee Lisle at llisle@vt.edu.


Lee Lisle, Ph.D
Virginia Tech | llisle@vt.edu
Cassidy R. Nelson
Virginia Tech | cassidynelson@vt.edu
Nayara de Oliveira Faria
Virginia Tech | nfaria@vt.edu
Rafael N.C. Patrick, Ph.D
Virginia Tech | rncp@vt.edu
Dylan Fox
XRAccess | dylan@xraccess.org
Aleshia Hayes, Ph.D
University of North Texas | aleshia.prof@gmail.com
John Quarles, Ph.D
University of Texas San Antonio | john.quarles@utsa.edu


[1]  T. C. Peck, K. A. McMullen, J. Quarles, K. Johnsen, C. Sandor, and M. Billinghurst, “DiVRsify: Break the Cycle and Develop VR for Everyone,” IEEE Comput. Graph. Appl., vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 133–142, 2021, doi: 10.1109/MCG.2021.3113455.

[2]  T. C. Peck, L. E. Sockol, and S. M. Hancock, “Mind the Gap: The Underrepresentation of Female Participants and Authors in Virtual Reality Research,” IEEE Trans. Vis. Comput. Graph., vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 1945–1954, 2020, doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2020.2973498.