TOGETHER IN THE MAINSTREAM: exploring adaptive collaboration environments with deaf geeks - Deaf Geek Dinner

Deaf students in hearing schools are often “alone in the mainstream,” inventing coping strategies in isolation. What happens when we start hacking together? In a culture where disclosure and accommodation conversations are hidden from view, we find that making our negotiations and adaptations visible are transformative, leading to others (with and without disabilities) stepping forth to ask for what they need and to adapt to the needs of others.

Friday, November 20,  6pm-later -- Deaf geek dinner

A bunch of our deaf geek signing friends are coming out for dinner. Hearing folks are welcome. We deliberately do not have interpreters for this event, and challenge everyone to go as voice-off as possible -- don’t worry, we’ll have pens and paper, cell phones… we’ll make it work. Allergy-friendly food available. Dinner is in the Olin College dining hall, adjacent to the library in the Campus Center.


Ian Smith is a software engineer in San Francisco. After majoring in EECS at MIT, he did an MA in Linguistics at Gallaudet. He is particularly interested in how communities develop around changes in #a11y, and the feedback loop between increased access and increased demand for access.

Mel Chua is a hacker, teacher, dancer, and (recent!) cyborg who researches engineering faculty and engineering culture change in Needham, MA. She is also an electrical and computer engineer (Olin College BS ECE 2007) and an order-20 all-pole auditory low-pass filter with a 250Hz roll-off.

Sarah Sparks is a part-time theology and religious studies instructor at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Though she loves teaching, since becoming a late-deafened adult she has sensed that her calling in life is changing. She is currently in the process of applying to graduate programs in audiology. She also creates and sells art focusing on themes of faith and life with Ménière's disease.

Mirabai Knight, CCP, RDR, is a professional realtime captioner for deaf and hard of hearing students and professionals in New York City. She is also the cofounder of The Open Steno Project, which seeks to make stenographic technology available to as many potential users as possible.

Olin College dining hall, adjacent to the library in the Campus Center

Event Date : 11-20-2015

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