Date: 21 March 2019

Time: 06:00 PM

Location: Deloitte

8 Brindabella Circuit


Stop Trying to Fix Me: how to design for autism

Autism is not a tragedy. Autistic people aren’t broken or in need of fixing. Despite this, so much design effort is focused on trying to minimise or repress autistic traits and teach autistic people how to fit into some backwards notion of normal instead of maximising the strengths that are already there.

Designers who follow this approach might believe they are being helpful and supportive and may even think they’re adding value to the lives of autistic people, but they’re really not. Stereotypes, myths and misconceptions run wild and autistic people often find themselves needing to work even harder to have their needs and differences taken seriously and respected.

As an autistic person and a UXer, Ashlea McKay will share some stories and introduce you to what design for autism should look like if it is to have a positive impact on everyone.

UX researcher, writer and speaker

Ashlea McKay has almost a decade of experience in UX spanning both the public and private sectors in Australia as well as the international start-up space. She comes from an industrial design background and co-founded UX advice column UX Agony Aunt with Optimal Workshop in 2015. Ashlea is a proud autistic person who was diagnosed later in life. After spending 30 years not knowing she was missing a key piece of her identity, finding out she’s on the spectrum was the best thing that ever happened to her. She’s a fierce neurodiversity self-advocate who frequently writes and speaks about her experiences in the hopes of helping and educating others.
Ashlea is currently writing her first book on life as an autistic UXer.