Rua Mae Williams

Rua Mae Williams
Purdue University | Purdue · Department of Computer Graphics Technology (CGT)

Doctor of Philosophy

About

38
Publications
5,367
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454
Citations
Introduction
I investigate how disabled people use technology for self-determination using ethnographic methods, and incorporate participatory and transformative research approaches to propose new design strategies for disabled technology users. I take a critical perspective of technology and its interaction with disability rights in our present society to explore possibilities for a just future. Visit my website: ruamae.com

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
The locus of pathology exists not in the autistic person, but in the interaction between a hostile environment and the subjugated autistic. It is essential for parents, practitioners, educators, and autistic people themselves to ask the crucial question— Is the autistic a machine, or an organism? Are we active agents in our own embodied experience,...
Conference Paper
Recent exposures of extant and potentially discriminatory impacts of technological advancement have prompted members of the computing research field to reflect on their duty to actively predict and mitigate negative consequences of their work. In 2018, Hecht et al. proposed changes to the peer-review process attending to the computing research comm...
Article
Full-text available
The governance of rights is a complex project of exercising ethical discretion in a systemically unethical society. This paper troubles the efficacy of rights as governable by exposing tensions within and between the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Grounded in a criti...
Article
The Combating Autism Act of 2006 and its reauthorization in 2014 produced unprecedented interest in autism research. Computer Science researchers have devoted considerable attention to applying wearable technologies to existing autism interventions, as well as producing new forms of intervention. Many of these applications base their approach in po...
Chapter
Designers are increasingly interested in using methodologies that foreground the politics of design, moving beyond product-centered notions of work that are common even within human-centered design traditions. In this paper, we document the experiences of undergraduate UX design students as they used a digital civics approach to support local commu...
Chapter
All robots are disabled. I mean this in every possible sense. The anthropomorphic robot is always viewed through a deficit lens—a catalog of its failures to ascend from the uncanny valley. The assembly line robot is regarded with a precarious caution and skepticism—it is only noticed when it fails, becomes convalescent, a disruption to capitalist e...
Article
Executive functions (EF) are a collection of cognitive domains governing task initiation, motor planning, attention, and goal-oriented action. Difficulties with EF have marked impacts on adaptive living skills, learning outcomes, and quality of life for people with cognitive and psychosocial disabilities, as well as the broader population. While th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Designers are increasingly interested in using methodologies that foreground the politics of design, moving beyond product-centered notions of work that are common even within human-centered design traditions. In this paper, we document the experiences of undergraduate UX design students as they used a digital civics approach to support local commu...
Article
Virtual Reality (VR) and other game-like experiences are popular intervention platforms in neurocognitive rehabilitation research. Executive Functions (EF), the cognitive processes that regulate attention and goal-oriented action, are recognized as a domain of concern in several congenital and acquired neurocognitive conditions (e.g.: ADHD, autism,...
Article
Full-text available
In this creative nonfiction essay, I traverse through permutations of “fractal mechanics” as a means of processing experiences of oppression and imagining revolutionary futures. I introduce fractal mechanics as a method for thinking through how “the institution,” broadly understood, travels and transmutes from physical structure localized in place...
Article
Due to growing concerns for the disproportionate dangers AI advances pose to marginalized groups, proposals for procedural solutions to ethics in AI abound. It is time to consider that some systems may be inherently unethical, even violent, whether or not they are fair. In this paper, we deploy a Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis of long-format...
Article
I draw upon Critical Disability Studies and Race Critical Code Studies to apply an oppositional reading of applied robotics in autism intervention. Roboticists identify care work as a prime legitimizing application for their creations. Popular imagination of robotics in therapeutic or rehabilitative contexts figures the robot as nurse or orderly. L...
Article
Facilitated Communication (FC) is a technique of supported communication for non- speaking people with motor movements commonly understood as spasmodic, dyspraxic, or otherwise unruly. FC is a contentious site of scientific conflict where highly circumscribed quantitative experiments have been unable to reckon with the lived reality of typers. The...
Article
Julia Miele Rodas offers Autistic Disturbances: Theorizing Autism Poetics from the DSM to Robinson Crusoe as a tome of resistant literary praxis. So that we might allow ‘disordered’ to claim poetic voice- that we might recognize the celebration of this voice in our culturally treasured texts, and rather than require retroactive diagnosis, we simply...
Article
Full-text available
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Diversity Committee is entering its fourth year and continuing ways to improve diversity within the society as well as promote inclusive excellence within the HFE profession. Building on the annual meeting content from the committee’s first two years, 2019’s alternative format session on “HFE in Diversity, I...
Article
An ever-increasing body of work within HCI investigates questions of around “Women’s Health” with the aim to disrupt the status quo of defaulting to an implicit norm of cis-male bodies. This laudable and feminist project has the potential to drastically improve the inclusivity and availability of health care. To explore how this research attends to...
Article
Over the past 20 years, researchers have investigated the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) to enhance rehabilitative therapies by improving motor control, supporting motivation, and offering analgesic effects. Prior work indicates that patient adherence to prescribed in-home regimens has significant impact on recovery time. Though Connected Health...
Article
Full-text available
‘Unspoken’ is a point-of-view documentary directed by Emma Zurcher-Long, Geneva Peschka, and Julia Ngeow. The film explores Emma’s relationship with spoken and written language, and challenges viewers to disrupt their preconceptions about autism and autistic people. Emma, a 14-year-old Autistic girl with “unreliable speech”, engages us not just thr...
Conference Paper
SIGACCESS and SIGCHI are being shaped by new members as they integrate feminist theory, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and critical disability studies into the field. What happens when we begin to hold each other accountable to the impact our work has on marginalized users and communities? How do we develop a community of collaborative...
Article
‘Deej’ is a documentary film which throws popular assumptions about non-speaking autistics’ capacities into sharp relief-- exposing viewers to their biases and preconceptions-- challenging audiences to reframe what they think they know about people which society has labeled 'unincludeable'.
Chapter
Fidgeting, while primarily recognized as a distinguishing characteristic of neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism or ADHD, has also recently been recognized as a potential focus and attention aid for learning in traditional classroom environments. Everyone fidgets to greater or lesser extents, perhaps everyone can benefit from fidgeting aids...
Chapter
Advancements in robotics and machine learning technologies have increased the prevalence of human-machine interactions and collaborations in the workplace. Several studies have identified trust as a major factor in how efficiently human-machine interactions occur and in how errors are recognized and handled. Little work has been done to identify ho...
Chapter
In 1955, Solomon Asch investigated the relationship between opinions and social pressure. His results showed that opinions can be influenced by social pressure. In security, users are often referred to as the biggest security threat to a system. A system administrator’s security efforts can be, and have been, weakened by a user’s poor security deci...

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