The DEV Team

DevDiscuss Episode 9: How to Develop for Neurodiversity and Universal Accessibility

jess profile image Jess Lee (she/her) ・2 min read
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In this week’s episode of DevDiscuss, we confer on a subject that should be constantly considered in tech: Neurodiversity, or the active inclusion of all brains and their many, many variations.

The concept and field of neurodiversity acknowledges that there’s nothing “abnormal” or wrong about having a brain or body that differs from what society considers the “norm”. In fact, neurodiversity calls us to reconsider what we deem “normal” altogether! Developers should design applications and websites that serve our entire landscape of abilities, neurodivergent brains included.

@ben and I were joined by two amazing guests who have deep expertise in this realm — we think all DEV Community members can learn a lot from them!

Heidi Waterhouse is a Senior Developer Advocate at LaunchDarkly. Heidi was initially pursuing technical writing but, given her extensive speaking/presentation experience, she was guided towards a fascinating career change in interfacing between developers and the rest of the world.

Lydia X.Z. Brown serves as Policy Counsel for the Privacy and Data Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology. They’re also an Adjunct Professor for Georgetown University's Disability Studies Program. Lydia has been an advocate educator in diversity rights and diversity justice for over a decade. Lydia has also worked in policy making and community/cultural work and founded/runs the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment.

In this episode, Ben, Heidi, Lydia, and I discuss

  • What people often miss when thinking about universal design
  • How algorithmic bias furthers inequality in unjust systems
  • What tech could be doing better when it comes to universal accessibility.

Listen to Episode 9 of DevDiscuss: How to Develop for Neurodiversity and Universal Accessibility today! If you enjoy it, please consider leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts. We’ll mail you a small thank you gift if you send us a screenshot of your review! All you have to do is fill out this form 🦄⚡🎨

Quick Listening Links

Huge thanks to @levisharpe for producing & mixing the show, and @peter and @saronyitbarek for their editorial oversight.

Thank you to our Season 1 sponsors who help make this show possible. If you're in the market for any of their services, please check out DigitalOcean, Heroku, CommerceJS, and Fastly.

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄


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I am new to coding and I find it very helpful to listen to these podcasts to learn and know about new things.


Just getting back into podcasts and I’m relatively new to coding and dev is it’s great to be able to listen to people explain things I’m passionate about like neurodiversity