“Technology and Disability: Counternarratives” — the 2020 edition of the Choices and Challenges Forum — will explore ethical and social issues around advances in science and technology. The three-session Zoom series begins November 9.

“Autism Tech and Autistic Experience,” the first session on November 9 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., will feature several presenters:

  • Finn Gardiner is a community educator, researcher, advocate, and designer at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
  • Rua Williams is an assistant professor in human-computer interaction at Purdue University.
  • Elizabeth McLain, an instructor of musicology in the Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts, previously pioneered and implemented training on disability, accessibility, and inclusive teaching at the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan.
  • Carolyn Shivers is an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Human Development and Family Science who studies siblings of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Damien Williams, a doctoral student in science, technology, and society at Virginia Tech, will moderate the “Autism Tech and Autistic Experience” session.

The “High-Tech ‘Fixes’ and Disability” session on November 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. will feature the following speakers:

  • Alice Wong, founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project®;
  • Elizabeth Guffey, an art history professor at Purchase College at the State University of New York, where her research involves art and design, visual culture, museology, and disability studies;
  • Yomi S. Wrong, a University of Southern California Annenberg Health Journalism Fellow and the American Disabilities Act compliance manager for Sutter Health Palo Alto Medical Foundation; and
  • Jaipreet Virdi, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware, where she is a historian of medicine, technology, and disability.

Science journalist Rose Eveleth will moderate this session.

The forum will conclude with a Cyborg Promenade, on November 13 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The rapper Sammus will perform with Travis Chi Wing Lau, an assistant professor of English at Kenyon College and a poetic performer, during the promenade. To learn more, see “Choices and Challenges Forum tackles counternarratives in technology and disability.”

The Choices and Challenges Forum is a three-decade-old public engagement series sponsored by the Virginia Tech Department of Science, Technology, and Society.

To register for the free events, visit the Choices and Challenges website.