Enhancing Accessibility Workshop

Saturday, May 18, 2024, 12:45 – 2:15 pm, Sabal/Sawgrass

Organized by: Rebecca Hornsey, University of Stirling and Jessica Parker, University of Tennessee-Knoxville (VSS Student-Postdoc Advisory Committee); Rowan Candy and Anya Hurlbert (VSS Diversity & Inclusion Committee) Moderator: Rebecca Hornsey, University of Stirling
Speakers: Lucas Nadólskis, UCSB; Yingzi Xiong, Johns Hopkins University; Annabel Nijhof, Ghent University
Panelists: Santani Teng, MIT; Lenia Amaral, Georgetown University

This event will address opportunities to make conferences and research laboratories more accessible for participants with visual, auditory and neurodivergence challenges. It will include presentations from conference attendees with experience in these areas, a panel discussion about steps we can all take to make academic environments more accessible, and roundtable discussions for the attendees. We will be collecting feedback at the event for ways the conference can have improved accessibility for attendees. 

Refreshments and light lunch will be available.

Lucas Gil Nadólskis

University of California, Santa Barbara

Lucas Gil Nadolskis is a first-year PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, working in the Bionic Vision Lab under the supervision of Dr. Michael Beyeler. Despite being blind since the age of five, Lucas has dedicated his academic and research pursuits to advancing visual prosthetics. During his master’s program in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Lucas collaborated with Professor Matthew Smith, analysing data collected from visual cortex implants in two monkeys. His current research deals with exploring neural correlations in blind and low-vision visual cortex, with a special emphasis on multimodal aspects of working memory. He is currently involved with the exploration of data coming from cortical brain implants from blind volunteers, with the goal of developing a smarter bionic eye.

Yingzi Xiong

Johns Hopkins University

Yingzi Xiong is an Assistant Professor at the Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center at the Wilmer Eye Insititute, Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Xiong’s research is motivated by the questions of how the human brain learns new knowledge, adapts to changes, and rehabilitates after impairments occur. She seeks the answers to these questions in human vision and hearing, from both basic and translational science points of view. Her ongoing projects investigate the interaction of senses in real life activities to develop effective training methods, establish tools for clinical and self-assessment, and increase the accessibility of digital devices and environments.

Annabel Nijhof

Ghent University

Annabel Nijhof is a researcher in psychology / neuroscience at the Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology at Ghent University. She has obtained postdoctoral fellowships to work at King’s College London and Ghent University on projects related to the ‘self’ in autism. Generally, her research interests focus on the behavioural and neural processes underlying how we engage and interact with others, and how we distinguish the ‘self’ from the ‘other’. She is particularly interested in the similarities and differences in these processes between individuals with an autism diagnosis and neurotypical individuals. In addition, she is passionate about science communication.

Rebecca Hornsey

University of Stirling

Rebecca Hornsey is a Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, where she is currently working on a multisensory cue integration project to determine the types of cues which can be used to enhance visual search performance in complex, natural environments. Her research interests surround visual perception in virtual environments, particularly through the use of head-mounted display systems and psychophysical methodology. Rebecca is keen to liaise with other early career researchers and seasoned researchers, and to help improve the experience of those in the VSS community.