The Chatter Mission


Research and development of technology to support the Autistic* community is all too often done without Autistic involvement. Chatter is a collaboration created to address that problem by opening dialogue and building relationships between everyone who is a stakeholder in autism research–most importantly Autistic individuals! 

The event is centered on generating ideas for technology, but this event is for community building, collaboration, inclusion, and relationships, not just “making stuff.” We are coming together to build a community of stakeholders in autism research that includes Autistic people, family members, professional caregivers and educators, technologists and researchers. We believe through this collaboration we can help facilitate a cultural shift to celebrate neurodiversity–the belief that neurological differences are to be valued and respected. The community will share their perspectives through a design challenge course series, and a two-day symposium and design challenge to generate ideas about technology and interventions that support meaningful relationships in our neurodiverse world. We can’t do it without people from all these groups. We hope you’ll join us!  


Spring 2017
Autistic stakeholders participate in design challenge groups to prepare to share their perspectives

June 9, 2017
At the CHATTER symposium members of each stakeholder group will share perspectives on personal, interpersonal and community level challenges for Autistic individuals.

June 10, 2017
During the CHATTER design challenge the broader community will work together to brainstorm and design technology and interventions to meet these challenges together.




CHATTER is a collaboration at Northeastern University between the Computational Behavioral Science Lab (CBSL), the Matty-O foundation, and the Cabral Center.

The CBSL is a research lab at Northeastern dedicated to leveraging emerging technologies in computational, cognitive, and behavioral sciences to better understand, support, and evaluate human development.

The Matty-O Fund–The Matthew Dandurand Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Fund–was established by his family in loving memory of their son. It was funded to support ongoing autism related research in Dr. Matthew Goodwin’s Computational Behavioral Science Lab in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. The MATTY-O Fund is expected to continue to raise money to support events and research from family, friends, businesses and the Autism community. The fund is a tribute to Matthew who was taken from us too soon. Matthew Dandurand loved the Red Sox. He was a talented online gamer and gave his family much joy during his brief 16 years of life. But Asperger’s Syndrome made communication difficult for Matthew, known affectionately as Matty-O. He struggled to navigate the complex interactions required in relationships. The Fund is in recognition of his courageous spirit. It is our hope and belief that the events and the dedicated research can provide support for others who face these challenges.


Cabral Center
is a venue at Northeastern run by the The John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute. The institute is committed to intellectually, culturally and socially inspiring students toward excellence, success and service. Through programs, resources, services and activities the Institute fosters a nurturing, supportive and welcoming environment focused on students of African origin.

ASPIRE is a program of MGH and the Lurie center that provides programs and services for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum and with related profiles.

The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) works with individuals, families, and professionals to help people with Asperger Syndrome and similar autism spectrum profiles build meaningful, connected lives.

*A note about language: We know the language we use to identify is complicated, and not everyone agrees. You’ll see us use a mix of person-first and identity-first language throughout our events and writings. Here we used identity first. If you want to read more about this stuff, we like this article.