I am a Technology, Media, and Society Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Colorado ATLAS Institute. I conduct research aimed at elucidating and reducing the social and technical factors that exclude people with disabilities from gaining media and information (MIL) competencies that are vital to full participation in the contemporary information landscape and to an overall sense of self-determination and agency.
My research focus developed through my Ph.D. dissertation exploration of the factors that impact how people who are blind and visually impaired access tactile media and participate in media creation and production–key MIL competencies. I draw upon qualitative investigations to inform the development of new access technologies and experiences that involve all community members in media consumption and creation. I will complete My Ph.D. dissertation research on Inclusive Media Creation in May 2019 and am currently on the job market.
- (Educational) Learning science, media and information literacy, multi-modal literacy, universal design for learning, access media technology, accessible learning media, metarepresentation, critical making, art education.
- (Technical) Haptic technologies, visual question answering, and computer vision, multimodal creativity support tools.
- (Sociocultural) Justice and equity, critical disability studies, blind and visually impaired.
Acceptance of “BrowseWithMe: An Online Clothes Shopping Assistant for People with Visual Impairments” for presentation at ASSETS 2018.
Acceptance of 2018 Computer Vision Pattern Recognition Poster “VizWiz Grand Challenge: Answering Visual Questions from Blind People”. Our work on creating the VizWiz dataset was covered in MIT Technology Review.
Recipient of the 2018 University of Colorado STEM Chancellors Award.
Co-Author and Recipient of a 3 year NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Grant.
I conduct research aimed at elucidating and reducing the social and technical factors that exclude people with disabilities from gaining media and information (MIL) competencies. MIL is vital for a person to fully participate in the contemporary information landscape.
Three areas define my current and future work:
I believe that the role of educators is to cultivate experiences where students can engage in thoughtful observation, critical thinking, and meaningful engagement with materials and technologies. I work with students to develop their abilities to investigate sociotechnical issues, consider multiple perspectives, and address exclusionary practices across domains.
- “Crafting Accessible Experiences” (CAE): a hands-on studio course focused on creating interventions and installations that engage the senses through strategic storytelling, immersive environments, and evocative content.
User Experience and Interaction Design: My design skillsets are rooted in user-centered design, which I employ to the design of spatial installations, digital media and interfaces, and tactile media.
Access Learning Media Design: I employ my design experience to the creation of access learning media– tactile graphics and other materials that make information accessible through non-visual or multimodal design strategies.
Landscape Design: Between 2003 and 2011 I studied and worked as an environmental landscape designer. During this period, I worked with communities across the globe to restore landscapes impacted by resource extraction and natural disasters.
Arts: Throughout my life, I have dabbled in creating mixed media art. While none of this art is “fine”, the process of creation helps keep me present.
Education: Ph.D. Candidate in Technology, Media, and Society; Master of Information Communication Technology for Development; Bachelor of Environmental Design.
Professional Experience: Research Assistant, Landscape Designer, Community Development Coordinator, Interactive Sculpture Designer.
Publications: ACM SIG ACCESS; ACM CHI; ACM IDC; ACM FabLearn, etc.
Grants and Awards: Co-Author of an NSF ITEST Award; STEM Education Awards; Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Awards in STEAM Education Research.
DIY Projects: Many of my first memories are of building forts, taking old radios apart, and moving the furniture around the house. I still engage in these hobbies.
Human Empowerment: Through my work with the Visionaria Network and Rotary International I help develop social programs that strive to empower individuals such that they emancipate themselves and others from oppression.
Travel-Living: If I could, each year I would love to move to a new place for three months, engage in local projects, and learn new languages and cultures.