Welcome! I am a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE). at the University of Washington. My research is supported by a Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
My research sits at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, accessibility, and Disability Studies. My dissertation research positions people with disabilities as meaningful yet undercredited contributors to technology design. From their lived experiences, scholarship, and activism, I offer conceptual orientations and accessible practices aimed at fostering conditions for equal participation by, and recognition of, people with disabilities in design fields.
My most recent project critically examined empathy-building which has become an important precursor to good design in user experience and Human-Computer Interaction fields. Promising to foster understanding, activities spanning observation to the simulation of bodily impairments aim to help designers imagine what it might be like to be someone else, often their intended users. While altruistic, we showed how empathy-building may actually distance people with disabilities from the design work we are trying to bring them closer to. We examined publicly available accounts of empathy-building and popular design thinking toolkits to describe how designers (as the empathizers) position their work to address the experiences of people with disabilities (as the empathized). Such separation positioned people with disabilities as inspirations, in turn subverting their firsthand perspectives and important contributions. In response, we argued for shifting to being with one another through effortful, ongoing partnerships. Read our 2019 CHI paper, and learn more about this and my other projects here.