Annual Longmore Lecture: Josh Miele

Josh Miele, a blind man, stands in front of a cafe, his cane in the crook of his arm, he uses both hands on his smart phone.
Event Date: Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Location: Humanities Building, Room 587

The Annual Longmore Lecture in Disability Studies presents Josh Miele: "How Access Really Happens: Disability, Technology, and Design Thinking”

"How Access Really Happens: Disability, Technology, and Design Thinking”

We shape our tools and our tools shape us. This lecture delves into the interactions between disability, culture, and technology by exploring one blind scientist and inventor's journey. Interweaving evidence, anecdote, and autobiography, Dr. Miele will make a case for broadening our thinking about the meaning of accessibility and how we achieve it.

Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

We are eager to make this an accessible event! Please refrain from wearing scented products so that people with chemical sensitivities can join us. For ASL or open captioning, please contact Emily Beitiks by February 22 at 3pm: 415-405-3528 or

Josh Miele Bio:

Dr. Miele is a scientist with over 25 years of experience in developing innovative, information-accessibility solutions for blind people. He has a bachelors degree in physics and a Ph.D. in psychoacoustics from the University of California at Berkeley. As Director of the Description Research and Innovation Lab (DRIL), and Associate Director of the Smith-Kettlewell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Blindness and Low Vision, he leads a team of engineers and scientists dedicated to addressing a wide variety of accessible information challenges in education, employment, and entertainment. His leadership of the DRIL (Formerly the Video Description Research and Development Center) energetically integrates accessibility engineering, education research, psychophysics, disability studies, and other disciplines, applying description technologies and techniques to a universe of information accessibility challenges.

Outside of his professional work at Smith-Kettlewell, Dr. Miele is an active member of the Bay Area’s vibrant disability community. He is a former board member of both the Bay area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), and the Ed Roberts Campus (ERC). He is the Immediate Past President of the board of the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and is cofounder and Creative Director of LightHouse Labs — a Bay Area think tank which promotes tightening ties between technology innovators and the blind community.

Dr. Miele is the inventor of the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX), YouDescribe, WearaBraille, Tactile Maps Automated Production (TMAP), the Talking Tactile Pen (TTP), Sonification tools for MATLAB, Virtual Talking Signs, Simulated Sighted Stranger (SSS), and a number of other tools and diversions for blind consumers. He has also made contributions to screen reader technology, computer-vision applications for the blind, haptic exploration research, and disability humor. Dr. Miele lives in Berkeley, California, the City of the Blind.