Building Technology for Diversity and Inclusion

Chinmayi S K

Technology reflects the biases of society and therefore is not necessarily built after factoring in the realities of diversity and inclusion.
For eg in the past when offices were air-conditioned, the fact that they were too cold for women was never factored in because the ratio of women in those spaces were too low. Similarly since photography was a hobby of the privileged. Photographic plates in the early times were designed for fair people, so dark skinned people ended up getting ghosted out.

Over the years that I have been working with technology in non profits and organisations. I hear a lot of talk about building for inclusion. But these talks rarely go beyond a few tweet chats or panels in conferences. Concrete solutions are rarely proposed.

While, there have been practitioners who have been working on parts of all this process in pockets but it has never been put together in one place. When it is so unless you are keen to understand all issues it becomes hard for a technologist to translate this into their product.

This is also because very few people understand the intersections of technology and rights completely. Our education systems are to be partly blamed for this because we never teach humanities in technology studies and vice versa.

With this thought process I invited a few friends to join me in creating this manual. This manual is an effort to simplify that and help more people learn the nuisances of building for inclusion. I hope with this manual we begin to address that issues in software development currently.
This is a very broad topic has several things to talk about and is complex to put together all at once. Also we recognise that this evolves over time. Hence this is just our first version

Chinmayi S K

Written by

Technologist interested in community, equitable society and environment. Proud founder of @bachchaoproject, @anansegroup and run @randomhacks

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