Developmental Pediatrician & Executive
Director Ummeed Child Development Centre

Don’t forget the F words!

Making meaningful AT for children

All children, including children with disabilities, have the right to family, friends, and fun. The focus of developing assistive technology should be making sure that children are able to participate in all these aspects of life to the fullest, and not ‘fixing deficits’ in them. Every child is different and will have different priorities for what is important to them. The best way to find out what matters most to children is to ask them, because they are the experts on their lives. There should be nothing about them without them. 


Vibha Krishnamurthy is a Developmental Pediatrician with over 20 years of experience in working with children with disabilities and their families in India. She trained in Developmental Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Boston, and founded Ummeed Child Development Center in 2001 where she is currently the Executive Director. Ummeed ( www.ummeed.org ) is one of India’s leading not for profits that works with children with disabilities and their families. She has led the team at Ummeed in it’s delivery of services, training, advocacy and research in the field of child development and disability. She serves as an expert on Early Childhood Development and Disability for the Govt of India, WHO and UNICEF. She is also a Board Member and Past President of the International Developmental Pediatrics Association.


Co-founder, Academic Director of Global Disability
Innovation Hub and Professor at UCL’s Interaction Centre.



Disability interactions is a new framework to design technologies for people with disabilities. It forms the basis for an  upcoming book. The framework comprises six principles: 

  1. Disability inclusion is a wicked problem:
  2. The need for Applied and Basic Research to be Combined (ABC);
  3.  Solutions should be co-created and make use of radically different interactions available through
     technology advances;
  4.  New technologies need to measure their societal value and usefulness and
  5. Provide the need for open options for the technology to scale. This talk will explore these principles and the disability interactions dimensions which can be used to measure success of projects and programmes. Examples from the AT2030 programme will be sued to highlight how the DIX approach can help to develop technology and will end with the challenges which remain to ensure digital and physical environments are accessible to people with disabilities.



Cathy Holloway is a professor of Interaction Design and Innovation at UCL’s Interaction Centre and a Co-Founder and Academic Director of the Global Disability Innovation Hub, which hosts the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre on Assistive Technology. Cathy’s research is focused on developing technology for people with disabilities which helps to make the world a fairer place.


Professor and Director, IT Program, Gallaudet University , 
Washington, USA.


Modern software user interfaces increasingly mirror physical and social interaction, as this leverages existing human interactive knowledge. However, the range and experience of this interaction, such as gesture and speech (or signs) is incredibly diverse and can be a barrier for users with different abilities and cultures. My research aim is to develop efficient multimodal interfaces for more inclusive and effective software for users with different abilities and backgrounds



Raja Kushalnagar is the Director of the Information Technology program in the Department of Science, Technology and Mathematics at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, USA. His research interests encompass the fields of accessible computing and accessibility/intellectual property law, with the goal of improving information access for people with sensory disabilities. In the accessible computing field, he investigates information and communication access disparities for people with sensory disabilities. For example, he investigates how technology can aid access to multimodal communication or information through speech-to-text, i.e., captions or subtitles, and sign language interpreters. In the legal field, he advocates for laws and policies for access and inclusion for people with sensory disabilities, such as automatic captions or audio description. He also serves on organization board committees that focus on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in computing fields, including the Computing Research Association – Widening Participation, Teach Access and Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction. He has mentored over 100 undergraduates and 10 graduate students. He has received over $4 million in grants and has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications


Director, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design,
Royal College of Art, UK

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