Title: Our Assistive Technologies, Ourselves: Understanding the Relationships Between Wearable Technology, Accessibility, and Identity
Speaker: Shaun Kane
Location: UTA 5.522 (1616 Guadalupe St., 5th Floor)
Abstract: Wearable technologies such as smartwatches and smart eyeglasses are increasingly becoming common in everyday life. The use of wearable technology in the public sphere has raised questions about privacy, safety, and other social concerns. People with disabilities have long relied upon wearable assistive devices to support them in performing everyday activities, but the rise of mainstream wearable technologies has blurred the divide between assistive technologies, consumer electronics, and fashion. In this talk I will present three examples of how the changing perceptions of wearable technology affect people with disabilities: a study of how public perceptions of wearable cameras are affected by the wearer’s disability, a study of how people with severe neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS adapt their communication devices to represent their personalities, and a study of how people with hearing loss have begun to customize their assistive devices to exert control over their presentation of self.
Bio: Shaun Kane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and, by courtesy, in the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is director of the CU Superhuman Computing Lab, which explores ways to make computing devices easier to use, especially for people with disabilities and people in distracting environments. His research has been supported by a Google Lime Scholarship, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He received his PhD from The Information School at the University of Washington in 2011, and was an assistant professor in the Department of Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County from 2011 to 2014.
1:15pm to 2:30pm