Making Tech More Accessible: An Ethnographic Lens on Ability and Disability

Mural on a street in Croydon, London in blue, light brown, black and cyan colors. A busy image with many different figures that are both humanoid and rectangular/robotic. A central image has three large eyes arranged vertically.
"An ethnographic lens influences us to define ability and disability in a way that is maximally inclusive...many different abilities are present in our world, and each deserves to be taken as its own reality and respected as such." —RICHARD BECKWITH (Research Psychologist, Intelligent Systems Research Lab) & SUSAN FAULKNER, (Research Director, Research and Experience Definition), Intel Corporation EPIC Members Richard Beckwith and Susan Faulkner (Intel) have assembled a panel of luminaries in accessible tech research, design, and engineering for our January 26 event, Seeing Ability: Research and Development for Making Tech More Accessible. In anticipation, we asked them a few questions about their approach to accessibility and key first steps all of us can take to do more inclusive work. How do you define ability and accessibility? How does an ethnographic lens influence your definitions? Ability has to do with what an individual is capable of perceiving or physically doing with their body; accessibility has to do with...

A Collective EPIC Journey into 2023

Happy New Year EPIC People! New years, like all human rituals, are an ethnographic marvel. Amid the constant and disinterested motion of the Earth, people use the power of culture and collectivity to galvanize momentous rites of passage. From a cyclonic output of business metrics to intimate habits of well-being, we participate in reckonings and celebrations, reenacting the old and crafting the new. New years are also moments we’ve created for grappling with the nature of change. In the waning weeks of last year, I was showered with hot takes on the miraculous/apocalyptic ChatGPT. What is this new thing, and…

EPIC2022 Video & Proceedings Now Available on Demand!

EPIC2022 Resilience was the 18th edition of the premier global conference on ethnography in business and organizations. Now you can read the full-length papers and case studies, and watch conference presentations on demand: ➥ EPIC2022 Papers and Case Studies are FREE to read, download, and share. ➥ Video of EPIC2022 presentations & tutorials are available to EPIC Members—along with our entire Video Library of Conferences, Tutorials, and EPIC Talks (join now!). BROWSE EPIC2022 VIDEO & ARTICLES DOWNLOAD PROCEEDINGS (PDF, 348 pp) BROWSE VIDEO LIBRARY ALL CONFERENCES BY YEAR EPIC2022 represents the work and passion of more than 200 people: conference…

Assessing Quality in Qualitative Research

Abstract image, wavy blue background with orange shape
a book review by SAM LADNER Qualitative Literacy: A Guide to Evaluating Ethnographic and Interview Research by Mario Luis Small and Jessica McCrory Calarco August 2022, 230 pp, University of California Press This book is a must-read for any researcher, even those who specialize in quantitative methods. It aims to be a textbook but achieves much more than that because it focuses on what it takes to be “literate” in qualitative data – the very thing that our stakeholders need to be more sophisticated customers of our work. Qual researchers know all too well that basic qual familiarity is lacking in most contexts, but we don’t always have the language to explain to our stakeholders how to best leverage qual data. This book helps us do that. Imagine being a writer in a world where no one was literate. Imagine the constant struggle to train up, support, and explain your work to people who cannot read, while at the same time being told the reason they cannot understand your writing is because it isn’t good enough....

EPIC2023—The Big Reveal!

abstract image; swirling magenta background with yellow sphere
EPIC2023 CHICAGO, OCT 7-10  EPIC2023 chairs Marta Cuciurean-Zapan and Evan Hanover announce our next conference location and theme! Watch, read or listen—then get ready for our Call for Participation coming in January 2023...   Hello! We are Marta Cuciurean-Zapan, Director of Research and Insights at IDEO, and Evan Hanover, Director at Conifer Research. We are incredibly excited to invite everyone in the room today and online, EPIC members past, present, and future to… …Chicago, Illinois, for EPIC2023 next October! Chicago has a rich history shaping the theoretical and methodological foundations of American social science. Some of you may have made your way there to study at one of our colleges and universities. Or had foundational work experiences at firms that put social theory and an ethnographic approach at the forefront of their practice and positioning—such as eLab or Doblin, or the place where the two of us first met and collaborated, Conifer Research. Then there is the location of the actual...