Shital Desai joins the School of the Arts Media Performance & Design with research interests in inclusive design solutions in assistive adaptive technologies for children and people with accessibility needs including older adults and persons with cognitive impairments. She is Interaction designer, Human Centred Designer and an Engineer with experience working in Robotics, Health industry, Communications technology and non-destructive testing since 1995. She has experience commercialising products, having released four products to the market.
She uses human centred design methods and engineering techniques to develop interventions for children and older adults with and without impairments. She develops novel participatory human-centred design methodologies and techniques for working with extreme ends of demographics scale such as children and older adults. She is interested in how people interact with new and emerging technologies such as Mixed reality technologies. She investigates how people especially with cognitive impairments use new modalities such as gestural interactions and various sensory cues.
Prior to joining York University, Shital was an AGE-WELL (Toronto) research fellow from 2017 to 2019 where her research focussed on developing technology-based interventions for older adults and people with dementia. She was awarded her PhD in Interaction Design from Queensland University of Technology and has taught courses in the areas of Interaction design, Culture and Design, Capstone Studio, and Research methods at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia. She is a recipient of several awards and grants including AGE-WELL Innovator of the Future, AGE-WELL Catalyst Grant, Design Research Society (DRS) Bursary, Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and QUT Excellence Award.
She is currently affiliated to Inclusive Media and Design Centre (IMDC) at Ryerson University and Dementia Ageing Technology Engagement lab (DATE) at TRI UHN where she collaborates on various inclusive and accessible design research projects. She is a co-investigator in the AGE-WELL Catalyst grant “Investigating feasibility of Mixed Reality technologies for people with dementia”. She is a member of the WHO Dementia Knowledge Exchange peer review network where she shares her expert knowledge on dementia and technology in strengthening policies, service planning and health and social care systems for dementia.