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Research Overview:

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 a person’s full participation in contemporary information landscape, and overall sense of self-determination and agency. 

Three areas define my current and future work, and contributions to the fields of to human-computer interaction research, disability studies research, education research, and design studies research: 

  1. Inclusive Tactile Media Creation
  2. Accessible Creativity Support Tools and DIY Maker Technologies
  3. Establishment of Tactile Media Studies

Much of this work has been completed as part of the Build a Better Book Project–a research initiative that is funded through an NSF ITEST Grant and led by a team from CU-Boulder Science Discovery, the CU-Boulder the Department of Computer Science, CU-Boulder ATLAS Institute, and CU-Boulder School of Education.


Inclusive Tactile Media Creation

People who are blind and visually impaired face active and passive exclusion from gaining access to media and participating in media creation.

All the while there are few teaching and learning resources for educators, technology designers, and other invested community members interested in developing their tactile media design skills.

Finally, there is a need to develop social programming to teach the broader community about access media design and accessible technology design.

This is an image of an art instructor and student who is blind co-working to create a clay sculpture, The Student has their hands on the clay and a cutting tool, and the teacher is holding a ruler in place.


Accessible Creative Technologies 

There is a socio-technical gap exists between what we know we must support socially (inclusion of people who are BVI in media creation) and what is currently support technically (accessible ICT and access technologies that make media creation–particularly at a time when creation has become a valued practice in STEAM and Making education).

In order to address this gap, I conduct research to assess the accessibility of existing access technologies, creativity support technologies, and Do-It-Yourself and Maker Technologies and develop new accessible interfaces, e.g. FluxMarker: Enhancing Tactile Graphics with Dynamic Tactile Markers.

Access Technology Design Research

In addition to the assessment and development of technologies focused on supporting creative activities, I conduct research that informs the development of access technologies for people who are blind and visually impaired, e.g. BrowseWithMe: An Online Clothes Shopping Assistant for People with Visual Impairments. 


 Tactile Media Studies

Research on tactile media attracts scholars and practitioners from a variety of fields. However, the body of literature on the subject is incredibly scarce and there has yet to be an effort to create a coherent research agenda that translates work on tactile media from perceptual and cognitive psychologists, literacy scholars, special education scholars, mechanical engineers, human-computer interaction researchers, media and communications scholars, and art historians.