Alyssa Hillary is an Autistic activist, scholar, writer, and artist. Sie studies/d Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Mandarin Chinese at the University of Rhode Island, and works in the field of Disability Studies, focusing on neurodiversity related issues. Sier research interests include approaches to technology and design for disability as well as intersections of LGBTQ+ and disability issues.
I am an Autistic scholar and activist, currently enrolled in a masters program in mathematics at the University of Rhode Island, the same instutition which I attended as an undergraduate studying math, mechanical engineering, and Chinese. Within my formal education, I was a member of the International Engineering Program, combining engineering (specifically mechanical engineering) with a foreign language (Mandarin Chinese) and spending a year abroad. While abroad, I had the opportunity to live with a Chinese room-mate, work with a Chinese tutor, take direct enrolment classes with Chinese classmates, and work as a physics lab TA with younger Chinese students.
Aside from my areas of formal training, I have interest in disability studies and disability rights, especially as they relate to the neurodiversity paradigm and movement. Within these areas, my interests were originally in intersections (queerness and neurodivergence,) access to education and scholarship, and Autistic culture.
In the last year or so, I've started to combine my engineering and technology interests with my disability studies and activism interests. In doing so, I look at how disabled people innovate to meet our own needs, and I look at alternate approaches to problems people with disabilities face to see what novel design solutions a sideways take on a problem can yield.