Carol Espy-Wilson, Yi Ting Huang, PI (HESP), Kathryn Dow-Burger (HESP), Andrew Begel (Carnegie Mellon), Elizabeth Redclay (PSYC), Shevaun Lewis (ARHU), Ge Gao (INFO), Louiqa Raschid (BMGT), Ira Karemer (NACS/BIO), Quentin Leifer (BSOS)

Funding Agency

University of Maryland




Carol Espy-Wilson (ECE/ISR) and nine colleagues in BSOS, ARHU, BMGT, CMNS, the Colleges of Education and Information Studies are creating augmented spaces for communication that negotiate differences and bridge gaps in neuro-diverse workplaces.

Autistic people experience sensory and social information differently from neurotypical people, and this leads to frequent miscommunications and discrimination in majority-neurotypical workplaces. If we understand the precise causes and consequences of autistic-neurotypical misalignments in workplace conversations, we can unlock a new opportunity: to create augmented spaces for communication that negotiate differences and bridge gaps in neurodiverse workplaces. We will build Fostering Inclusivity through Technology (FIT), a video-calling platform that promotes mutual understanding by highlighting team sentiment, building rapport with strangers, connecting past and current topics in conversations, and unobtrusively identifying and resolving misunderstandings. The proposed research will bring together autistic people, social scientists, technologists, and stakeholders in industry, policy, and advocacy to describe communication needs in workplaces, understand real-time communication dynamics in single- and mixed-neurotype interactions, and develop efficacy and ethical criteria for technology to support autistic-neurotypical communication.