Podcast: Designing for a Neurodiverse World

The world is a neurologically diverse place, but the resources, workspaces and technologies we use often don’t reflect that. Sometimes simple changes can significantly expand accessibility to people who have neurological differences like autism, dyslexia, ADHD, or epilepsy, but designers and policymakers frequently aren’t aware of issues affecting this neurodiverse community. Rosalind Picard, director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, joins neuroscientist Ned Sahin, Empowered Brain Institute CEO Rafiq Abdus-Sabur, computer scientist Karthik Dinakar, and disability advocate Finn Gardiner to explore what it means to be non-neurotypical, barriers to inclusion, and how creators can make their work more accessible.

Rafiq Abdus-Sabur is president and CEO of The Empowered Brain Institute, a nonprofit disability advocacy and support organization for individuals with autism and their families. Rafiq is a board member for Brain Power LLC and founder of the education technology firm, Edgewise Education.

Finn Gardiner is a disability advocate and policy analyst specializing in intersectional disability justice and accessible technology. He is a research assistant at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University where his work focuses on public policies for autistic individuals.

Karthik Dinakar is a computer scientist and the founder of C3PO, or the Cambridge Computational Clinical Psychology Org, a group of interdisciplinary researchers focused on bringing together machine learning, causal inference and clinical psychology.

Moderator: Rosalind Picard is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at MIT, co-director of the Media Lab’s Advancing Wellbeing Initiative, and faculty chair of MIT’s MindHandHeart Initiative. She co-founded the technology companies Empatica, Inc., which creates wearable sensors and analytics to improve health, and Affectiva, Inc., which delivers technology to help measure and communicate emotion.

This event is sponsored by The MindHandHeart Innovation Fund and Radius at MIT. All Communications Forum events are free and open to the general public.

Andrew Whitacre

About Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.

 
 

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