Today’s episode features disabled people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) with guests Liz Henry, Jennison Asuncion and Josh Miele. Liz, Jennison, and Josh share how they got into tech, their STEM educational experiences, and their recommendations on how the tech community can improve the recruitment and retention of disabled people.
This episode’s conversation comes from a panel I moderated at the headquarters of Pandora celebrating the the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on November 28, 2017. Thank you to Henry Lu of Pandora for hosting us!
Nakhla, Marina Z. (January 11, 2018). Empowering Individuals with Physical Disabilities in Higher Education and STEM. Medium.com
National Science Foundation. (2017). Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.
smith, s.e. (May 1, 2012). Where Are All the Disabled Scientists? XOJane.com
Jennison Asuncion leads digital accessibility at LinkedIn and manages a team of software engineers who support these efforts. He co-founded Global Accessibility Awareness Day www.globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org in 2012. Held the third Thursday of May, this is an annual, grassroots effort meant to raise the visibility of digital access and inclusion especially among the mainstream high-tech community.
He founded the Bay Area Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup www.meetup.com/a11ybay and runs the annual Accessibility Camp Bay Area www.accessibilitycampbay.org. You can follow him on Twitter via @Jennison.
Liz Henry is a blogger, author, translator, technologist, and activist. She is a co-founder of the first women’s hackerspace in San Francisco, Double Union, where she is still active. She is also an advocate for disability technology and hacking existing technology for use by the disabled. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Henry
Dr. Joshua A. Miele is a scientist with over 25 years of experience in developing innovative, information-accessibility solutions for blind people. He has a bachelors degree in physics and a Ph.D. in psychoacoustics from the University of California at Berkeley. As Associate Director of the Smith-Kettlewell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Blindness and Low Vision, he leads a team of engineers and scientists dedicated to addressing a wide variety of accessible information challenges in education, employment, and entertainment. His work integrates universal design, accessibility engineering, education research, psychophysics, disability studies, and other disciplines, applying emerging technologies and trends to a wide range of information accessibility challenges.
Outside of his professional work at Smith-Kettlewell, Dr. Miele is an active member of the Bay Area’s vibrant disability community. He is a former board member of both the Bay area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), and the Ed Roberts Campus (ERC). He is currently President Emeritus of the board of the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and is Creative Director and cofounder of LightHouse Labs — a Bay Area think tank committed to tightening ties between technology innovators and the blind community. Miele works in San Francisco and lives in Berkeley with his wife and two children.
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Cheryl Green, Audio Producer and Transcriber
Alice Wong, Writer, Producer, Interviewer
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Album: NO BIG DEAL
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“Balloons Rising” and “Tranquility Base” by A. A. Alto. (Source: freemusicarchive.org. Licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.)