Seminar • Software Engineering • Designing for Neurodiversity: Creating Inclusive Software WorkplacesExport this event to calendar

Monday, April 18, 2022 — 11:30 AM EDT

Please note: This seminar will be given online.

Andrew Begel, Principal Researcher
Human-AI eXperiences Team, Microsoft Research

Assistive technologies help people with disabilities to adapt to a world that is not designed to accommodate them. My research aims to create the socio-technical infrastructure underpinning accessible technology and inclusive workplaces to provide opportunity, eliminate bias, and empower people with disabilities to fully engage and collaborate equitably with their non-disabled colleagues.

My recent work, described in two case studies, aims to help neurodivergent individuals, who make up 15-20% of the world population with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others. In the first case study, we interviewed autistic adults to learn about their perceptions of video calling. Based on what we learned, we designed an AI-based tool that offered them live, visual feedback about their facial affect. In the second case study, we explored the challenges that neurodivergent developers and IT professionals face when using Microsoft’s Azure Portal and developed a set of neurodiversity-related user experience guidelines to help designers improve their software and make it easier to use by their neurodivergent customers.

Assistive technologies, tools, and processes can enable us to achieve a more equitable technology workplace for people with disabilities. These two case studies illustrate the benefits and challenges of applying inclusive and universal design towards addressing the specific needs of neurodivergent users.


Bio: Andrew Begel is a Principal Researcher in the HAX group at Microsoft Research, where he has worked since receiving his PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005. Andrew’s research focuses on the use of AI and HCI to improve the accessibility of technology for those with cognitive and visual disabilities. He also studies the communication and collaboration effectiveness of software engineers in collocated and distributed development.

His most recent work has been to study and help people on the autism spectrum obtain employment and facilitate social interaction, to help blind and low vision software developers collaborate with their sighted colleagues, and to use affective computing and biometrics (including eye tracking) to better understand how software developers do their work. During most of his time at Microsoft, his research has focused on human aspects of software engineering, evolving job roles in the software industry, and the growing impact of AI technologies on software engineering practices. Andrew is a Distinguished Member of the ACM.


To join this seminar on Zoom, please go to https://uwaterloo.zoom.us/j/98446538986.

Please note: The passcode will be provided by email a week before the seminar as well the morning of the seminar.

Location 
Online seminar
200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada
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