Digital Outcasts at the IA Summit in Baltimore

March 15th, 2013 by Kel Smith | Filed under Appearances, Inspiration

Baltimore Harbor from restThe speaking tour continues with a stop in Baltimore for this year’s IA Summit. It’s a homecoming of sorts for me, as I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and lived in the city for seven years.

I also mentioned the MICA Fibers program in my book, in a chapter about wearable computers and how art schools are spearheading innovation in this field. For this, you’d think they’d be interested in having me drop by and talk to students or something. But whatever. I’ll also be discussing the problem of food deserts, with specific mention of Baltimore-related endeavors.

In any case, I’ll be in Baltimore April 5 and I’ll be talking about this:

With one in seven people worldwide currently living with a disability, digital outcasts rely on technology for everyday services that many people take for granted. However, poorly designed products risk alienating this important (and growing) population.

Recognizing this, digital outcasts have taken it upon themselves to develop technology tools to sustain and improve their success in life. This has resulted in some of today’s most exciting innovations, evincing a “grass roots” approach to product development that can be adopted by both small project teams and large corporations.

We as a design community have much to learn from digital outcasts. In this presentation, we’ll discover how a “grass roots” approach to innovation allows disenfranchised users to transform their lives and communities. We’ll also develop strategic approaches to ensure a more inclusive future, in which ambient benefit can be achieved for people of all abilities and backgrounds.

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