Portland State of Mind: Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture 2018 - "Designing for Disability" featuring Elise Roy
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 5:30pm to Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 7:00pm
Portland State of Mind: Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture 2018 - "Designing for Disability" featuring Elise Roy

What: Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture 2018 - "Designing for Disability" featuring Elise Roy

When: Tuesday, October 17, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5 PM)
- The lecture will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m; doors and seating to the lecture hall begins at 5:00 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Recital Hall (LH), room 75, 1620 SW Park Ave.

Cost: Free and open to the public. RSVP required due to limited space.  Click here to RSVP
- We will be providing ASL interpreters and CART services at this event.

Contact: Cait McCusker,, 503-725-2843

Every year the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State brings a world-class speaker to speak on active transportation - with the support of the Ann Niles endowment for our program the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI).

This year, in celebration of the Portland State’s “Disability as Diversity” month of October here on campus, we invited Elise Roy to share her unique perspective on how active transportation interfaces with the Deaf community and others with unique needs. In the City of Portland and surrounding regions, it’s critical that we consider all users at the beginning of the design process for walking, biking, and transit.

Elise Roy is a deaf human centered designer, former lawyer, and motivational speaker who works in the vanguard of the disruptive innovation movement. She is a passionate proponent of the notion that when we design for disability, we often develop solutions that are better than when we design for the norm. A highly skilled public speaker, she has given talks at Microsoft, the U.S. Institute for Peace, the United Nations, and the World Bank. Her TEDx talk, “When we Design for Disability, We All Benefit,” has over 1.2 million views.

Elise’s deafness has always given her a heightened awareness of how profoundly design shapes the social, emotional and physical environment and this led her to study human-centered design in Maryland Institute College of Art’s (MICA) Social Design program. She completed a master’s degree with a thesis that investigated the barriers that exist for individuals with hearing loss in the fabrication technology and design realm. In 2016 Elise founded Elise Roy & Associates, a social enterprise that helps organizations analyze problems from the vantage point of people with disabilities to disrupt markets and industries. The organization is founded on the notion that when we design for extremes we come up with better solutions than when we design for the norm. Part of the evening will include a conversation between Elise and Dr. Paula Carder, Director of Portland State University's Institute on Aging, as they explore further how universal design in mobility options and infrastructure truly does benefit everyone at every stage of life.

In addition to this lecture on active transportation, TREC is excited to continue the conversation on orientation and mobility with our future upcoming events:

Sept. 14, 2018: Integrating Universal Access and Equity into Pedestrian Planning and Design - A four-hour workshop as part of the larger Transportation and Communities Academy 2018 at Portland State

March 11, 2019: Mobility Matters 2019 - Co-hosted with the Graduate School of Education, a one-day summit on orientation and mobility at Portland State

Ann Niles Active Transportation Lecture 
This annual lecture series is a unique opportunity to bring world-class thinkers on pedestrian and bicycle issues to Portland State University (PSU) and the active transportation community in the Portland metro region. The annual lecture serves as a legacy to Ann Niles who was a strong advocate for livable neighborhoods, safer pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and served on many transportation-focused boards and committees in Portland. The forum furthers the mission of our Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI) program to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among scholars, practitioners and community advocates around issues of active transportation. By promoting dialogue across disciplines and interests, this lecture series supports PSU's mission to "let knowledge serve the city."

Learn more

This event is hosted by PSU's Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC).

See the full list of PSOM events

Learn more about Portland State of Mind