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Grand Challenges: Fostering Inclusivity through Technology (FIT)

Achieving Common Ground in Autistic-Neurotypical Interactions with Innovations in Video Calling

Grant Type: Team Project Grant
Topics: Social Justice, Health, Autism, Ethical Technologies
Colleges Represented: BSOS, ARHU, BGMT, CMNS, ENGR, INFO

Grand Challenges Grants Program


Autistic people experience sensory and social information differently from neurotypical people, and this leads to frequent miscommunications and discrimination in majority-neurotypical workplaces. If the precise causes and consequences of autistic-neurotypical misalignments in workplace conversations can be better understood, a new opportunity can be unlocked: to create augmented spaces for communication that negotiate differences and bridge gaps in neurodiverse workplaces. The Fostering Inclusivity through Technology (FIT) is a video-calling platform that promotes mutual understanding by highlighting team sentiment, building rapport with strangers, connecting past and current topics in conversations, and unobtrusively identifying and resolving misunderstandings. The research brings together autistic people, social scientists, technologists, and stakeholders in industry, policy, and advocacy to describe communication needs in workplaces, understand real-time communication dynamics in single- and mixed-neurotype interactions, and develop efficacy and ethical criteria for technology to support autistic-neurotypical communication.

Team Members:

PI: Yi Ting Huang (BSOS), Associate Professor, Hearing and Speech Sciences

Kathryn Dow-Burger (BSOS), Clinical Associate Professor, Hearing and Speech Sciences

Andrew Begel, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Carol Espy-Wilson (ENGR), Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, ISR

Elizabeth Redcay (BSOS), Associate Professor, Psychology

Shevaun Lewis (ARHU), Assistant Research Professor and Assistant Director, Language Science Center

Ge Gao (INFO), Assistant Professor, Information Studies

Louiqa Raschid (BGMT), Professor, Information Systems

Ira Kraemer (CMNS), Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, Biology

Quentin Leifer (BSOS), Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation
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