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“The Accessibility Gap for Tech Users and Developers”

So the delay in getting this module out to you all, is that there’s a lot in it that needs to be unpacked. In this module we’re focusing on ChemE PhD student Emily Ackerman’s experience being on the inaccessible side of electrical engineering (delivery robots).

Please watch Emily’s presentation which breaks down the initial incident and then goes deeper to explain the structural inequalities that exist for disabled individuals. Emily’s story really spans the field of engineering from civil (how do we create our accessible sidewalk ramps?) to electrical, and probably bits of all the rest woven in there. 

I want you to think about Emily’s experience and come up with some considerations for how you might take diverse human experiences into account with whichever field you’ve chosen to study in.If you can’t watch the entire video, please watch the introduction and then pick another one of the chapters to comment on. 

The additional chapters are:

  • How is technology actively inaccessible?
  • How are accessible solutions so actively inaccessible? 
  • How can people with disabilities still be so far behind?
  • Access to tech and education has always been historically limited
  • The ADA + The Result: Air Transportation
  • The present is scary therefore the future is scarier
  • Poor representation is caused by inaccessibility
  • The solution is positive feedback
  • The industry must diversify
  • The industry must slow down
  • Education must become more accessible
  • This is a temporary problem

I will offer some of my own comments in Slack because I also haven’t been able to watch this entire presentation and I want to make sure that I give it the attention it deserves.

Please comment by the end of the week. Thanks everyone!