Welcome back to Mixtape, the TechCrunch podcast that examines diversification, inclusion and the human labor that drives tech.
This week, Megan moderated a body at Sight Tech Global, a powwow dedicated to fostering discussion among technology colonists on how advances in AI and relevant engineerings will modify the landscape of assistive technology.
The panel featured three heavy hitters in the accessibility cavity: Haben Girma( envisioned above ), the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School and who is a human rights lawyer advancing disability justice; Lainey Feingold, a disability rights lawyer who was on the team that negotiated the first network accessibility agreement in the U.S. in 2000; and George Kerscher, the foreman innovations detective for the DAISY Consortium.
Among the topics they discussed were communicating via Zoom and other video scaffolds in the days of COVID, how tech fellowships have adhered to the Americans with Disorder Act, and the is essential for a culture displacement if we’re going to realize any significant change.
“It’s all about a culture change to really make sure technology is accessible for everyone, ” Feingold told Megan. “And you can’t get a culture change, I don’t believe, by hammering people. You get a racial vary by having dialogue and relying on civil rights laws, but not as the hammer.”
And then there are the robots. Girma acknowledges that parties in the disability community and people in the AI community are having dialogues about technological advancements and accessibility. But she says that not enough of the people how are building the robots and using AI are having these conversations.
“Don’t accuse the robots, ” she says. “It’s the people who build the robots who are inserting their biases that are causing ableism and racism to continue in our society. If designers improved robots in collaboration with disabled people who use our sidewalks and blind people who would Use these bringing apps, then the robots and the delivery apps would be fully accessible. So we need the people designing the services to have these conversations and work with us.”
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