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Stacy Branham (UC Irvine)
January 30, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Marginalized People are “Expert” (not “Other”) in Design
The technologies we build often have unanticipated consequences. These can be particularly deleterious for people from marginalized populations––people considered non-normative “others.” A conspicuous wearable device that helps navigate a person who is blind may make them a target for street robbery or harassment. An algorithm that automatically detects a person’s gender may offensively misgender someone or “out” a transgender person. In this talk, I draw from my research with the blind and transgender communities to argue that members of marginalized populations are experts. For example, a blind person is an expert in voice interaction; imagine what their expertise might lend the design of voice interfaces like Amazon Echo. When we center these communities in technology design, rather than treating them as special interest groups of secondary concern, we can be innovative, we can be inclusive, and we can assert our collective interdependence.