Meryl Alper is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University and a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty at Northeastern, she earned her doctoral and master’s degrees from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and History from Northwestern University.

Alper’s research explores the social implications of communication technologies for individuals with disabilities, children, and families. In particular, she studies the opportunities and challenges that media and technology provide young people with developmental disabilities and their families in the digital age. She integrates theoretical, empirical, and archival methods in this work and employs a historical, sociological, and critical/cultural perspective.

Alper has worked for over a decade in the children’s media industry.  As an undergraduate at Northwestern, she was Lab Assistant Manager in the NSF-funded Children’s Digital Media Center/Digital-Kids Lab and interned in the Education & Research Department at Sesame Workshop in New York.  Post graduation, she worked in Los Angeles as a Research Manager for Nick Jr., conducting formative research for the Emmy-nominated educational preschool television series Ni Hao, Kai-lan and The Fresh Beat Band.

Alper is the author of Digital Youth with Disabilities (MIT Press, 2014) and Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality (MIT Press, 2017). Her work has been published in New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, and Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, among other journals.  Her research has been featured in The Guardian, The Atlantic, and Wired, among other venues.

Meryl Alper can be reached via email at, and on Twitter @merylalper.