The University of the arts

    • Michelle McKeone PIE Faculty

Michele McKeone




BS, Digital Media, University of the Arts
MS, Special Education, Chestnut Hill College

Michele McKeone is an award winning thought leader and innovator in the autism education community.  

While at UArts for her undergraduate work, Michele studied a variety of media, including the development of streaming media and social networking sites, well before the launch of YouTube and Facebook. Michele's graduate research focused on using new technologies to circumvent learning disabilities. She applied her research within her own Autistic Support classroom and developed strategies to empower her students. Michele served as a fellow with the Philadelphia Teaching Fellowship and as a Facilitating Advisor with The New Teacher Project, training 25 special education teachers who were new to Philadelphia.

Leveraging her specialized background in digital literacy and in teaching, Michele founded Digitability (formerly Autism Expressed), the only scalable program that teaches digital literacy to students with disabilities. The online platform is disrupting the existing paradigm and approach to special education, which has historically pigeonholed students with autism into low-wage jobs.
Since its launch in 2014, Autism Expressed (now Digitability) has received several awards, including the Educational Services of America Prize and Startup of the Year.  Michele appeared on the cover of Philadelphia Magazine, and was named a Woman of Distinction by the Philadelphia Business Journal. She is the recipient of several grant awards and investments, including the University of Pennsylvania, The Corzo Center for the Creative Economy, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Michele has shared her vision on MSNBC, TechCrunch, CNET, WHYY and in her TedX talk about empathy.Michele’s focus remains with the ultimate goal of increasing inclusion of adolescents and young adults with special needs into the workforce and social fabric of society. Digitability serves as a catalyst for new and innovative types of cognitive and social development for generations to come.