Session Descriptions (2019)

Some sessions are listed below. More coming soon!

If you would like to speak, email us your name, the session title, the session description, and a bio and (optionally) photo. Don’t forget to register, too!

Auditorium Sessions

Keynote: We Count

Jutta TreviranusInclusive Design Research CentreOntario College of Art and Design University

How does inclusive design reduce cost, increase dynamic resilience, and support sustainability? In an increasingly complex and variable world, our decision systems are structurally unprepared for complexity and variability. This has influenced work, education, research, markets, finance, and even democracy. This deficiency is being transferred to our new automated decision systems; while the only value we have imparted is popularity. This means that the “power tools” of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will amplify existing inequities and societal deficiencies. What role do people who aren’t considered in the design of our existing systems play in addressing this? What assumptions and conventions do we need to unlearn to reverse this pattern?

Accessible Accessibility Testing

Sponsored by Vision-Aid!

  • What are the advantages of having people with disabilities do accessibility testing?
  • What are some of the challenges of having people with disabilities conduct WCAG 2.x compliance testing?
  • How can these challenges be overcome?
  • Are accessibility-testing tools accessible?
  • If a company wants to conduct usability testing with people with disabilities, how could it get started?
  • If people with disabilities want to get paid to do accessibility and/or usability testing, how could they get started?



EasyText.AI Student and Developer Panel

Sponsored by INDEX (!

Latest update on research and development of EasyText.AI: Artificial Intelligence-driven, mass-scale, web text simplification for people with cognitive disabilities, non-native language speakers, and for all people who struggle with literacy.


John Rochford, INDEX Program (, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School


  • Benjamin Amankwata, Dev/Ops Engineer, INDEX Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Viet Do, Web and Database Developer, INDEX Program, Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Aurom Lum, Student, Fitchburg State College
  • Triet Vo, Student, University of Massachusetts Boston

Break-out sessions

Behavioral Change Support Systems

Prateek Jain, User Experience and Decision Making (UXDM) Research Laboratory, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming increasingly popular for developing engaging user experiences. In this session, we explain how we use AR as a feedback mechanism to improve decision quality. In particular, we explain how we use AR to simplify complex information, such as nutrition fact labels, to make it more accessible. We developed a mobile application that scans nutrition fact labels and provides simple, personalized feedback using both visual and audio AR. Our research shows the AR feedback has a significant impact on decision quality because it makes nutrition fact labels easy to understand. Our research suggests AR has the potential to serve as an effective feedback mechanism in a behavioral change support system to help improve health outcomes.

Creating Intersectional and Inclusive Personas

Ryan Lamarche and Prateek Jain, User Experience and Decision Making (UXDM) Research Laboratory, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Personas are an amazing tool for research, marketing, development, and design. But sometimes, when we generalize, we miss the mark on representation. In this session, we will discuss the use of the IKE User Experience platform for developing personas that can better represent your users, and some techniques for making sure your personas are able to represent people with disabilities effectively.

Quick Start to Accessible Video

Samantha Sauld, 3Play Media Content Marketing Specialist

In this presentation, you will learn the basics of how to make video accessible, searchable, and SEO-friendly. This session covers legal compliance, the creation of closed captions and audio description, relevant lawsuits and how they apply to your organization, as well as an overview of the benefits of accessible video. Come away with a greater understanding of what you need to do and how to get started.

Universal Design for Service Experience

Christopher Chagnon, User Experience and Decision Making (UXDM) Research Laboratory, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Service experience design helps us create and improve the end-to-end delivery and provisioning of our services to our customers and users. Universal design lets us look at our experiences through multiple lens in order to make sure that they enable as many people as possible to leverage them. This session will cover how we can design experiences and services to be accessible using universal design best practices.

Using Technology To Impact Autism

A panel discussion with 3 startups that are using technology to simplify and streamline the lives of children and adults with autism.

Participating Startups

  • Cognitopia develops life management applications for people who see the world a little differently. We create cognitively accessible web applications for self-management and executive functioning that help people with cognitive disabilities be more independent while helping caregivers provide better support. Cognitopia will be represented by Tom Keating.
  • WellStats is a technology solutions company focused on helping agencies who serve vulnerable populations to increase their efficiency and effectiveness through the automation of data collection and analytics. Our mission is to merge the world of data with Social Determinants of Health on a person-centered level to expand access, inform choice, reduce waste and create meaningful change.  WellStats will be represented by Malia Faleafine.
  • InCare is an integrated mental health care service that’s optimal for all-around care. We provide low-cost therapy devices for people with Neurological Differences (autism, brain trauma, and mood disorders).  InCare will be represented by Pamela Cooper.

Questions for Startups

  • Which areas of technology can be most impactful?
  • How will you measure impact?
  • Any advice for new entrepreneurs entering this area?
  • What is the most important thing that <insert startup solution> has done for this population? (Examples?)
  • What are good areas where <insert startup solution> can create real value for people on the spectrum?