Dr. Ashley Shew
2021 Disability Summit Opening Keynote Speaker
Dr. Ashley Shew is Associate Professor at Virginia Tech and specializes in philosophy of technology at its intersection with animal studies, disability studies, and emerging tech. Shew is the author of Animal Constructions and Technological Knowledge (2017), co-editor of three philosophy of technology volumes, and currently serves as co-editor-in-chief of Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. She has published in The Chronicle for Higher Education, Catalyst, IEEE Technology & Society, Nursing Clio, and Nature.
Her current work is about technoableism, supported by NSF CAREER Award #1750260: Disability, Experience, and Technological Imagination. Technoableism is the idea that some of the ways in which we cast technologies as ’empowering’ disabled people reify ableist narratives that end up confining technological choice, feed into narrow conceptions of good disabled life, and prevent inclusion. She is interested in the different, non-dominant stories disabled people tell about their choices and relationships to technologies. Multiply disabled (and loud/proud), Shew engages in cross-disability advocacy and community through the Disability Alliance and Caucus at Virginia Tech (serving as co-chair) and her local Center for Independent Living (CIL), the New River Valley Disability Resource Center.