Data is everywhere, but it may not be accessible to everyone. Conventional data visualization tools and guidelines often do not actively consider neurodivergent needs and abilities of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), leaving them excluded from data analytics, vulnerable to ethical issues, and facing significant barriers in many areas of life. Since 2018, I have been exploring ways to break barriers to data accessibility for people with IDD, crafting a cumulative research agenda for cognitively accessible visualizations. In this talk, I will describe my three-step approach to (1) understanding data accessibility, (2) uncovering everyday data experiences, and (3) unlocking neurodivergent potential for data authoring. This talk will offer actionable insights to empower individuals with IDD in data-driven conversations, reimagining visualization as a tool to democratize data access and foster inclusivity across diverse cognitive landscapes.
Keke Wu is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Integrating storytelling, aesthetics, and creative technology, her research aims to foster engaging, meaningful, and impactful human-data interactions to solve real-world problems and create benefits for broader social good. She has published at IEEE VIS, ACM CHI, SIG ACCESS, AUCD, and AAIDD. Keke has received a Best Paper Award at CHI, the Ray Hauser Award at CU Graduate School, and has been recognized as a finalist for the Adobe Research Fellowship, and the NCWIT Collegiate Award. Drawing from her multidisciplinary experiences, Keke is committed to making meaningful contributions by bridging the realms of art, technology, and human experience.