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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.

Recent News/Highlights

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.

Keynote Speaker: Conference on Library Services for the Blind in Multiethnic Regions. Bashkir Regional Library for the Blind, Ufa, Russia.

Co-Author and Recipient of a 3 year  NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers Grant.

Six ladies of different nationalities standing and posing for the camera. Abigale is holding a book which was presented as a gift.
Abigale Stangl standing with five librarians, after her keynote presentation at the Conference on Library Services for the Blind in Multiethnic Regions. Bashkir Regional Library for the Blind, Ufa, Russia.

Two woman and a young child sitting on the floor reading a 3D printed tactile picture book.
Abigale Stangl, a graduate student in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder, works with blind preschoolers at the Anchor Center or the Blind. (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)


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:

1) Inclusive Tactile Media Creation

2) Accessible Creativity Support Tools

3) Establishment of Tactile Media Studies

(Read more about my research) 


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.

Current Courses: 

(Read more about my teaching experience)

Five university students sitting around a table, touching 3D printed objects. Woman (me) standing above above asking students questions.
Abigale Stangl guest lecturing in Info. 5505, Designing for Creativity and Learning at the University of Colorado. Course taught by Dr. Ricarose Roque.

Design sketches created by Abigale Stangl during the design of Moodcasting: Home as a Shared Emotional Space.

Design Practice

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.

(Read more about my design practice and to see my portfolio)

Curriculum Vitae 

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.

(Read more about my academic and professional experience)

Approx. 15 people are standing in a circle with arms around each others shoulders, in a large embrace. Everybody is smiling and laughing.
Abigale Stangl standing with a group of Visionarias during a leadership education program led by the Visionaria Network.

A half wall built out of cut 4x4" blocks of wood.
A wall built by Abigale Stangl in a home space.


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.