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Workshop at INTERACT 2023

Logo of the Interact Conference 2023. At the top is an icon with a circle representing a power cable. Inside the circle is a stylized person pulling the plug at the top of the circle, so that the circle is open at the top. Lettering underneath: "Interact 2023 Design for Equality and Justice".

INTERACT 2023 is the 19th International Conference of Technical Committee 13 (Human- Computer Interaction) of IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing). The INTERACT Conference is held every two years. It started in 1984, making it one of the longest running conferences on human-computer interaction.

The theme of the 19th conference is “Design for Equality and Justice”. Increasingly, computer science as a discipline is becoming concerned about issues of justice and equality – from fake news to rights for robots, from the ethics of driverless vehicles to the gamergate controversy.

In line with the theme of this year’s Interact conference, we would like to exchange ideas with scientists about practical requirements, challenges, and the potential of developing technical systems for neurodivergent people and discuss new concepts and strategies.

Designing Technology for Neurodivergent
Self-Determination: Challenges and Opportunities

For neurodivergent people (people with atypical neurocognitive functioning, for example, autistic people, people with ADHD, people with anxiety, or differences in sensory processing) it is more difficult to access education, work, and leisure in a world that is designed for neurotypical people. For example, noisy environments such as public transport can be difficult to bear for some, others may not find themselves in a position to work efficiently in crowded office spaces that are shared with co-workers, and access to leisure can be restricted for some individuals because of specific social expectations.

This workshop aims at how (1) neurodivergent people leverage existing technologies to address their needs, how (2) new technology should be designed to address issues relevant to them, and we intend to address (3) the design of technology that targets neurotypical people to increase understanding of the embodied experiences of neurodivergence and create environments in which everyone contributes their share to inclusion. Thereby, we invite workshop participants to join us in critical reflection and conversation about the design of wearable assistive technology, self-determination, and the negotiation of individual access and societal responsibility.

Topic Areas

The workshop will address the most recent developments in designing technology in the context of neurodivergence, including systems for communication and collaboration in education, work and leisure time.


The main objective of this workshop is to engage the HCI research community in conversation about how we can contribute technologies that support neurodivergent people in the achievement of their own goals, that align with their wishes and needs, and that can be leveraged by them to lead fulfilled lives.
To this end, we would like to explore methods for a systematic approach to design for diverse user groups, discuss how to work around and with conflicting access needs, and how we can effectively involve neurodivergent people in research efforts in a way that power is shared between the target audience and research teams.
Additionally, we hope to shift focus to critical reflection on our own positionalities, the theories that we draw upon in our work, and their implications in the context of neurodivergence (e.g., autism and empathy, and the challenges that come with ensuring that technical artifacts do, in fact, support the intended target audiences rather than risking solidifying harmful stereotypes.

Workshop Organization

We propose one-day Workshop on 29 August 2023 organized alongside IFIP TC 13 INTERACT 2023 conference. Reviews of submissions are prepared by the organizers and discussed jointly.

Target Audience

The target audience for this workshop are researchers and designers working in the area of neurodivergence, either through the lens of assistive technology or from the perspective of neurodivergent persons and their experiences with technology. We also invite the participation of lived experience experts (i.e., neurodivergent persons).

Submission Guidelines

To participate in the workshop, interested parties are invited to submit an accessible paper (up to 6 pages excl. references; Springer LNCS format) that aligns with one or more of the topic areas of the workshop. In the case of lived experience experts, we encourage the submission of a format-free one-page experience report that relates to technology. In all submissions, we encourage authors to critically reflect upon their perspectives and answer the question of how their work is informed by and supports neurodivergent communities. Academic submissions and submissions from lived experience experts can be emailed to the organizing team via The selection process for submissions will be juried, with a number of experts discussing and choosing relevant contributions.

  • Submission: 07/01/2023
  • Notification of acceptance: 07/15/2023
  • Submission Camera-Ready: 07/31/2023

Participation in the Workshop

Participation itself will be possible either in person or remotely. On-site participants are expected to be present in York, UK, whereas remote participants will be given access to the workshop via Zoom. Automated captioning will be available, and we will create a schedule with sufficient breaks for participants. Social activities will be clearly structured, and expectations of participants will be communicated beforehand. Other access measures will be provided upon request and in coordination with the conference organization team. The workshop will start with a hybrid introductory session, will continue with break-out activities where on-site and remote participants will work on different questions and topics structured around the topic areas, and will close with a hybrid plenum in which outcomes and next steps are discussed.

Key Organizers

All organizers are experienced researchers in the field of accessibility of HCI for disabled people who have developed and evaluated research prototypes with disabled users in the past and in ongoing research projects.

Kathrin Gerling is a Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Accessibility at KIT, Germany, and a neurodivergent person. Her work aims to empower diverse audiences in the context of work, leisure, and wellbeing. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of the relationship between bodily difference, technology, and participation in society, and how technology can be employed by disabled people.

David Gollasch is a PhD student at the TU Dresden, Germany with research interests in diversity-sensitive interaction design as well as structured methods and processes around software variability and AI to build adaptive user interfaces.

Jan Gulliksen is a Professor of Human-Computer-Interaction and Vice President for Digitalization at KTH, Sweden and he does research on usability and accessibility, digitalization and digital work environments and user-centered systems design.

Katta Spiel is an FWF Hertha-Firnberg scholar at the HCI Group of TU Wien, where they work on the intersection of Computer Science, Design and Cultural Studies. They research marginalized perspectives on technologies to inform interaction design and engineering in critical ways, so they may account for the diverse realities they operate in and in collaboration with neurodivergent and/or nonbinary peers.

Oussama Metatla is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol. As Co-Head of the Bristol Interaction Group, he and his team investigate inclusive technologies for disabled and non-disabled people. Current projects include interactive play technologies for autistic and non-autistic children, hybrid technologies for people with and without dementia, and education technologies for blind and sighted children.

Gerhard Weber is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at TU Dresden, Germany. His interests are in multimodal interaction, non-visual interaction, tactile graphics, and teaching on accessibility. He is also liaison officer for students with a disability and leads a service centre for students with a disability.

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