Ariana Riccio

tel: 212-807-4200

Ariana Riccio conducts research as part of IDEAS2: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering for All Students, an NSF-funded project that builds upon EDC's previous work as part of IDEAS. The goal of this research is to make engineering design Maker programming available and sustainable in a wide range of autism-inclusion schools in New York City and to build knowledge about how Making can benefit autism-inclusion efforts in general. This work is conducted in partnership with New York University’s ASD Nest Support Project and the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI).

Ariana is also a researcher on a 5-year NASA-funded project, NASA’s Neurodiversity Network (N3): Creating Inclusive Informal Learning Opportunities Across the Spectrum. Her research is focused on building upon the strengths of autistic people, and prioritizes working alongside autistic adolescents and young adults as part of the research team. 

Ariana is on the evaluation team of an NSF-funded project entitled Collaborative Research: Promoting Engagement in Informal STEM Learning as a Path to Employment for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This project seeks to empower adolescents with autism to seek out careers that are well-matched with their strengths and interests.

Since 2016, Ariana has also served as the program evaluator at the not-for-profit Tech Kids Unlimited (TKU), an informal technology education program that serves children, teens, and young adults with various learning and developmental disabilities. She has led both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis at TKU, with the goal of iteratively adapting educational programs based on evaluation and incorporating principles of Universal Design into the curriculum model.

Ariana holds a PhD in developmental psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a BS in biology and community health from Tufts University.