Issue 29

the Week of November 2, 2015
Three red roses.

In this issue, we discuss reproductive justice in the tech industry, and speak to Asian American women in the field about representation, inclusion and identity. We look at building club and music technology cultures that welcome and center femmes, and how “inclusive” spaces in tech are still harming marginalized people. Plus, a two-part feature on makeathons and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Photo CC-BY liz west, cropped.

Photo of the workshop space. Various members of Team Free To Pee are involved in various activities—some are bent over working on a blue plastic prototype seat, some are standing, some are sitting and some are in wheelchairs in the middle of the action.

Assistive Technology By People with Disabilities, Part II: Designing Better Makeathons

Makeathons and other similar events want to “do good” and “make the world a better place.” The people behind these events need to realize *how* they do them is as important as *why* they are doing them.

Image with a magenta background and hand-drawn in black ink the figure of a woman in a wheelchair with short hair—her mouth is open wide and there is a caption bubble in yellow that reads “To pee or not to pee, that’s NOT the question!”

Assistive Technology By People with Disabilities, Part I: Introducing Team Free to Pee

Very often, specialized companies create assistive technology with little input from actual users with disabilities. These products are usually institutional in look and feel, overpriced, and only reimbursable by insurance.

In-game screenshot; a character looks at the camera, wearing a vest and bowtie, leaning against a graphical case of bottles.

Calling all Ladies, Dames and Fems: How Inclusive Spaces In Tech Harm the Communities Most in Need

Organizations run by primarily white, cis, straight founders train the majority of their focus on alleviating alienation for white cis women in cis male-centric spaces, but do little to dig deeper into other marginalized identities and access needs.

R*Q~L at the DJ set-up, standing next to Leah McFly on the computer.

Femmes, DJs, Raves: Towards More Inclusive Club Cultures

We still see male-dominated lineup after male-dominated lineup, at clubs and festivals predominantly run by male bookers and promoters.

Photo of a chrysalis, viewed through a microscope.

Why We Need Reproductive Justice in Tech

I’m advocating for you to incorporate reproductive justice as a lens through which to view your work in the tech industry.

Time-lapse shot of a hand waving in the air, appearing almost transparent.

Asian American Women in Tech: Lawsuits and Lived Experiences

Evidence that Asian American women haven't been fully included in technology is found not only in recent lawsuits, but in the lack of Asian American women in tech leadership.

This issue is made possible in part by some of our generous readers: Coda Hale, Marc Hedlund, Michele Titolo, Luis Bruno, Carl Friedrich Bolz, Bryan Luby, Deirdré Straughan and Robin Kunde.