This is an outdated version published on 2023-01-16. Read the most recent version.

Not robots; Cyborgs — Furthering anti-ableist research in human-computer interaction


  • Josh Guberman
  • Oliver Haimson



This theoretical essay builds on existing literature to draw out the consequences of dehumanizing and disseminating autism discourses within the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Focusing mainly on narratives in HCI that frame autistic people as or like machines, we explore how dominant constructions of autism in HCI work to normalize the field’s complicity in violent autism intervention paradigms, despite HCI researchers’ well-meaning intentions. We work towards developing crip-cyborgs as an alternative framework for understanding autistic people (as opposed to computers or robots) and suggest crip technoscience as a framework for research based on this alternative understanding. In doing so, we hope to enroll misguided but well-intentioned researchers in dismantling anti-autistic ableism, both in and beyond HCI.





How to Cite

Guberman, J., & Haimson, O. (2023). Not robots; Cyborgs — Furthering anti-ableist research in human-computer interaction. First Monday, 28(1).



2. Disabled resistance to discriminatory information systems requires a re-mixing and re-imagining of classification and surveillance technologies