Seeing Ability: Research and Development for Making Tech More Accessible

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January 26, 3–4:30 pm Pacific time (10–11:30 am AEDT)
Free for EPIC Members



One of the biggest challenges facing the tech industry today is access to computing for people of all abilities. This EPIC Talk explores making computing more accessible through ethnography. How can the EPIC community think about bringing accessibility into our work? What has been the impact of design inspired by disability? How should ethnographers work with people who have disabilities?

Industry leaders in tech, educators, and researchers from Intel, UC Irvine, Dell Technologies, and OmniBridge will share key insights on how we can use ethnography to address computing accessibility. This will be an engaging session that is intended to amplify a much-needed conversation with people who are leading the work to advocate for inclusion in research, computing and technology. We encourage our EPIC community to share their experiences, insights, and challenges—and be open to listening, learning, and engaging with people who have been affected by this type of exclusion.

Read a Q&A with Richard Beckwith & Susan Faulker

→ Also join us on February 7 for Removing Barriers for Research Participants with Disabilities


Seeing Ability Moderator - Richard Beckwith

Richard Beckwith (moderator) is a Research Psychologist in Intel Labs’ Intelligent Systems Research Lab. His recent work has focused on issues around AI for disabilities in the workplace, social network research, workplace support, and surveillance technologies.


Darryl Adams is the Director of the Intel Accessibility Office. Darryl leads a team that works at the intersection of technology and human experience helping discover new ways for people with disabilities to work, interact and thrive. He is a blind engineer who learned at a young age that, due to retinitis pigmentosa, his sight would slowly fade. His eyesight did gradually diminish but his vision did not. He saw a future for himself in the technology of accessibility. Darryl is working to help Intel and the rest of the tech community be a better ally to the disabled community. You can read about Darryl's work with EPIC member Jamie Sherman on the intersectionality of videogames and disabilities, and hear Darryl discuss Intel's work with GoodMaps.

Tim Graham is a Gaming Segment Lead at Dell Technologies. He is passionate about making gaming more accessible for everyone.

Stacy Branham is an Associate Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, and Co-PI of AccessComputing, a national initiative to broaden participation in computing to include people with disabilities. Her research yields actionable design guidance and proof of concept prototypes. In a recent partnership with Toyota, she worked with blind and low vision people to co-design a wearable voice assistant for navigating airports. In another partnership with Google, she co-designed accessible profile images of people with disabilities, which now ship on all Chromebooks, marking the first time that people who are blind can choose a representative system profile image for themselves. In 2021, Branham received the NSF CAREER Award and was named one of the “Brilliant 10” rising STEM researchers by Popular Science. In 2022, she was recognized with a campus-wide teaching award as a Digital Accessibility Innovator.

Adam Munder is the General Manager of OmniBridge, an Intel Venture. He is enthusiastic about creating a barrier-free world for Deaf/HoH people to communicate with hearing people anywhere, at any time, inside or outside of the corporate world. OmniBridge enables bi-directional, real-time conversations between people who use American Sign Language (ASL) and those who speak English by harnessing the power of AI-driven machine translation technology. A Deaf engineer who collaborated with exclusively hearing colleagues for years, using ASL interpreters to support his communications. He realized that if more people had the support he has, Deaf people could more easily participate in the economy. He also realized that there is a shortage of interpreters; having full time interpreters increases the costs to a company and he sought a solution. Using emerging capabilities in machine translation and machine vision, he and his team at Omnibridge have built an application that can translate a person’s signed sentences into English. This is really the first time that real ASL—signs in sentences—can be translated instead of discrete signs from ASL or just fingerspelling English words.

Related Resources

Hearing Through Their Ears: Developing Inclusive Research Methods to Co-Create with Blind Participants (free article)

Designing and Conducting Inclusive Research: How a Global Technology Company and an Online Research Platform Partnered to Explore the Technology Experiences of Users who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (free article)

Tutorial: Research for Accessible & Inclusive Design (EPIC Member video 45 minutes)