2018 Workshop on AI Fairness for People with Disabilities     


 photo photo Marc K Johlic photo photo Eileen Koski photo photo Simeon (Si) McAleer photo Calvin (Cal) Swart photoShari Trewin photo

2018 Workshop on AI Fairness for People with Disabilities - overview

This workshop will bring together people with disabilities, AI researchers and accessibility experts to identify areas where an early focus on AI fairness for people with disabilities is most important. For example, autonomous vehicles must properly identify people using wheelchairs, career advancement opportunities should be offered equally to people who use accommodations to perform their work, and AI-based interaction and authentication methods such as voice, face or gesture recognition need to accommodate 'outlier' individuals not seen in training. The outcome of the workshop will be a white paper outlining the challenges and identifying stakeholder priorities for AI fairness research in this area.

silhouettes of people, one in a wheelchair, one with a cane



Date: Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Time: 09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Location: @ IBM Cambridge, 5th floor Cafe, 5T01, 75 Binney Street, Cambridge, MA, USA

Registration: The workshop is fully booked. To request a place on the wait list, please contact Shari Trewin, trewin@us.ibm.com



09:00 AM

Welcome and Introductions Ruoyi Zhou, Shari Trewin
09:30 AM Overview of AI in Society and Employment Martin Fleming
10:00 AM Fairness and Inclusion in Society and Employment Erich Manser (session chair), Sassy Outwater-Wright, Larry Goldberg
10:30 AM Break  
10:45 AM Fairness and Inclusion in Society and Employment Erich Manser (session chair), Sebastien La Duca and Natalia Lyckowski, Daniel Hebert, Stacey Carroll
11:30 AM Putting AI and Fairness Together Jutta Treviranus
11:45 AM Brainstorming scenarios, risks and opportunities Shari Trewin
12:15 PM Lunch  
01:30 PM Breakout groups focusing on specific use cases and AI technologies Peter Fay (Session Chair)
02:30 PM Report back from breakouts Peter Fay (Session Chair)
03:00 PM Break  
03:15 PM Discussion and next steps Shari Trewin
04:00 PM End  



Photo of Ruoyi Zhou

Ruoyi Zhou

Ruoyi Zhou is the Director of IBM Accessibility Research. Her team focuses on research and development of technology to support access for all. Her responsibilities include developing technology and tools to enable accessibility for IBM products, solutions, and services; creating assistive technology for people with special needs; and leading IoT-based cognitive solutions for Aging across IBM Research.

Photo of Martin Fleming

Martin Fleming

Martin Fleming is IBM’s Chief Analytics Officer and Chief Economist.
As the Chief Analytics Officer, Martin leads IBM’s initiative to become the world’s premier Cognitive Enterprise. A Cognitive Enterprise is a business model transformation that employs machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive systems to improve decision making and, as a result, financial performance. The Chief Analytics Office is a data science center of competency focused on improving IBM’s business performance and achieving IBM’s financial goals. Martin also leads IBM’s data science profession with the mission to drive the growth and expertise of IBM’s skilled data science professionals whose expertise will ensure success in the cognitive era.


Sassy Outwater-Wright

Sassy Outwater-Wright is the executive director of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. She has nearly two decades of experience teaching assistive technology, and working with intersectionality, disability and technology. She studies user experience, and AI bias as applied to intersectionality of disability, sexuality and healthcare access, and digital accessibility. She has lectured at Harvard School of Engineering, MIT, and at conferences for medical and technology professionals internationally.

Photo of Larry Goldberg

Larry Goldberg

Larry Goldberg is Senior Director of Accessible Media at Oath. In this role, he is responsible for ensuring that Oath's many media offerings are as accessible as possible to people with disabilities, starting with closed captioning of thousands of videos hosted on our mobile apps and web sites. The Oath Accessibility Team is focused on making our products and workplaces accessible and on supporting major industry-wide efforts to raise the level of accessible technology available to people with disabilities through projects such as The Disability Collection and Teach Access.

Larry joined Oath (formerly Yahoo) in June of 2014, having previously worked at WGBH Boston, where he founded and directed its National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM). Larry was directly involved in such ground-breaking legislation as the TV Decoder Circuitry Act, The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. He led efforts to create standards adopted by media organizations and the FCC to implement legislated mandates for accessible technology. Before starting NCAM, Larry directed WGBH's Media Access Group and its Caption Center and Descriptive Video Service.

Photo of Sebastien La Duca










Photo of Natalia La Duca

Sebastien La Duca and Natalia Lyckowski

Sebastien La Duca: I am a Proud Autistic and an Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) student at Carnegie Mellon University with an unquenchable thirst for learning. I want to make a difference in this world by developing technologies, processes, and systems that make life better for everyone, including those with disabilities and different abilities. I am incredibly interested in all aspects of computing, from digital system architecture to application level software. I am incredibly fascinated by the fact that we can build machines to make decisions for us. What I may lack in experience due to my age, I make up for with my ability to learn quickly. I am always ready and willing to jump into anything I am otherwise unfamiliar with to solve the problems people face today and help define the world of tomorrow. I was a summer intern with the SAP Autism at Work Program.

Natalia Lyckowski: I am an Application Developer with IBM with over 20 years of experience in developing creative system solutions for clients across the globe. I am a veteran in Waterfall and Agile software development through all phases of its life cycle - from learning the client’s business process, translating procedures into system requirements, testing, installation, system maintenance, technical writing, and continued customer partnerships for future deployments. I am experienced with project management and working on an international team. I am also a passionate volunteer public educator on inclusion and diversity awareness, both in and outside of the workplace, youth and adult. I am also a mother of a young autistic man who has taught me how to think out of the box and remain ever flexible.

Photo of Daniel Hebert

Daniel Hebert

Daniel Hebert has his computer science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has been with IBM since 2006. He has worked as a QA, Build, and R&D engineer, developer, and is currently a devops developer working with the Chef stack for IBM Services for Managed Applications. Enjoys working on smart home and accessibility projects. He is a community advocate for persons with disabilities and involved with the local independent living movement.


Stacey Carroll

Dr. Stacey Carroll is a nursing professor and nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience. As an involved member of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses and the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, she is passionate about increasing disability accessibility and acceptance - not only within the nursing profession but worldwide. She has chaired a committee advocating for a see-through surgical mask to facilitate lipreading and has revised essential functions to make nursing programs more inclusive. She lives in central MA with her husband and two sons.

Photo of Jutta Treviranus

Jutta Treviranus

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto.  Jutta established the IDRC in 1993  as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and connected society is designed inclusively. Jutta also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise. Jutta founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University. Jutta co-directs Raising the Floor International. She leads international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support inclusion. She has played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally (including W3C WAI ATAG, IMS AccessForAll, ISO 24751, and AODA Information and Communication).