Diverse Voices: Working with under-represented communities to modernize the Washington state Access to Justice Technology Principles
Hannah Almeter, Batya Friedman, Lassana Magassa
All too often, policy development for emerging technology neglects under-represented populations. In response to this challenge, the UW Tech Policy Lab developed the Diverse Voices method in 2015. Drawing from design thinking, value sensitive design, standpoint theory, and discount usability, the method uses short, targeted conversations about emerging technology with experiential experts from under-represented groups to provide feedback on draft tech policy documents. This process works to increase the likelihood that the language in the finalized tech policy document addresses the perspectives and circumstances of broader groups of people – ideally averting injustice and exclusion.
In spring 2018, the Lab facilitated Diverse Voices panels to gather feedback on proposed revisions to the 2004 Washington State Access to Justice (AtJ) Technology Principles with experiential experts representing formerly incarcerated, immigrant, and rural communities, as well as legal professionals. Based on feedback from these panels, AtJ amended the proposed revisions, adding entirely new principles around human touch and language access.