1. Richard Ladner
  2. http://www.cs.washington.edu/people/faculty/ladner
  3. Professor Emeritus
  4. AccessComputing
  5. https://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/
  6. University of Washington
  1. Brianna Blaser
  2. Program Coordinator/Counselor
  3. AccessComputing
  4. https://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/
  5. University of Washington
  1. Sheryl Burgstahler
  2. http://staff.washington.edu/sherylb/
  3. Direcrtor
  4. AccessComputing
  5. https://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/
  6. University of Washington
  1. Andy Ko
  2. http://faculty.washington.edu/ajko/
  3. Associate Professor
  4. AccessComputing
  5. https://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/
  6. University of Washington
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:46 p.m.

    Welcome to the "Teaching Accessibility to Broaden Participation" video presentation.   People with disabilities are underrepresented in the STEM workforce.  One way to improve this is for computer science educators to include more information about people with disabilities and access technologies in their courses.   We call this "teaching accessibility."  To learn more visit the AccessComputing website then look in "resources" to find "Teach Access."  Another player in the teaching accessibility space is TeachAccess that is spearheaded by industry.  High tech companies are looking for more talent that has knowledge about how to make apps and websites accessible.

    If you have any questions or comments please use the discussion board here.

     
    3
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Allie Beckman
    Abby Funabiki
    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Kate Meredith

    Kate Meredith

    Informal Educator
    May 12, 2019 | 06:50 p.m.

    My first post!  Tell me more about the results of the survey professor Ko described.  What faculty did you target for your survey?  Did you probe a variety of subject areas or did you focus on software design? How did you use the findings?

  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 07:07 p.m.

    Hi Kate,

    I can't answer this fully because my flight is about to leave for San Antonio. We surveyed professors of computer science and professors in information schools around the US.  These were professors in all subfields not just software design.  Over asked Andy Ko too add more detail.

  • Icon for: Brianna Blaser

    Brianna Blaser

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:50 p.m.

    The research Andy Ko mentioned was published at SIGCSE 2018.  You can find the published article here: Who Teaches Accessibility? A Survey of US Computing Faculty.  They used Mechanical Turk to crowdsource email addresses of over 14,000 faculty in computer science, information science and other interdisciplinary computing departments at 4-year universities and colleges.

    Since then, they have done additional work considering how to do professional development that was published at SIGCSE 2019: Teaching Accessibility: A Design Exploration of Faculty Professional Development at Scale.

  • Icon for: Andy Ko

    Andy Ko

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:05 a.m.

    Thanks for the question Kate! Richard and Brianna did a great job covering the basics of the study. The scope was quite broad; we were interested in learning about *any* form of teaching about accessibility in a computer science or information science class, not just software design. The survey showed that many people, at particular universities, are teaching about accessibility across the curriculum, but it’s mostly being taught in HCI and software engineering.

  • Icon for: Brianna Blaser

    Brianna Blaser

    Co-Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 11:35 p.m.

    To add to what Richard said, there's a high demand for professionals that know about accessibility and yet it's commonly not covered in the curriculum.  Teaching about accessibility helps to ensure that future technology will be accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Furthermore, some (but certainly not all) students with disabilities are drawn to working in accessibility.  You can also find a longer version of this video on our website: Teaching Accessibility: Including Accessibility in Your Courses

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 02:57 p.m.

    Your video makes a convincing argument for teaching accessibility to students in computing courses, and you underscore this need well by asking us to think about the widest variety of people who will use a program.  In particular, I appreciate your framing the problem as the ways in which the software can be disabling.  

    Since your survey suggests that professors are eager to teach accessibility but still have trouble figuring out how to do it, I'm wondering if you've been able to identify effective supports or models that have enabled some professors to make changes to their courses (or even to some of their class sessions).

    Thank you for sharing the link to your Teaching Accessibility website so we can learn more! 

  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:50 a.m.

    Hi Karen,

    I think there are a number of strategies and models that can be used.  We had a pre-symposium workshop at SIGCSE 2019 in Minneapolis on this topic.  About 45 people attended the workshop and we are coming out with a summary proceedings soon.  It was good to see a variety of approaches presented at the workshop.  Examples including using accessibility at a theme in a CS intro course,  incorporating accessibility topics in web design/development courses, incorporating accessibility in software engineering courses, and using accessibility as a theme in a capstone design course.  We feel it is good to include accessibility topics in a wide range of courses, rather than making a specific course about it.  

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:57 p.m.

    Thanks, Richard, for your response.  I'll look forward to reading the summary proceedings from SIGCSE.  

    Two things struck me as I read your comment - 1) that if you start off with accessibility as a theme in a CS intro course, it might set a student expectation that accessibility is something to be considered in every course (or aspect of software/technology design).  Those expectations might even "encourage" some professors to add this theme.  2) I'm not a computer scientist, but I've found that grounding accessibility principles within other types of curricula and classroom practice made it more meaningful and more central to course/PD learning goals.  I strongly support your recommendation to include accessibility in a wide range of course instead of teaching about it separately. 

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 10:28 a.m.

    For an example of a freely available curriculum that integrates accessibility into a mainstream course on website design, link to "WebD2" from http://www.washington.edu/accessit/index.html

    It demonstrates how accessibility can be integrated throughout a course. We need more examples of this approach to share with computing faculty.

     
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    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Andy Ko

    Andy Ko

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:06 a.m.

    Another effort we’re making is to bridge the expertise gap amongst faculty. Our survey shows that most have interest in teaching the subject, but don’t have expertise on it. One approach to this is to write a book about accessible computing for interested CS faculty to learn from. We’re just starting conversations in the research community about what such a book might cover

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 07:29 p.m.

     Greetings Accessibility Presenters and visitors,

    I am like those faculty members you polled in the survey, knowing little and eager to learn. I am excited about the possibility of putting together an accessible computing book to support the work of faculty and students in CS. I visited the Access Computing website/Make Your Current or Future Project Accessible - and found some great ideas there as well! This is truly great work. It seems so obvious it should not be a separate course but integrated into every CS program. Somehow I thought accessibility for screen-readers was required at universities and taken care of by now (!!), even if I might not be aware of it. Do you have a sense of the most difficult challenges to making significant progress?

  • Icon for: Richard Ladner

    Richard Ladner

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:07 p.m.

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for your comments.  It appears we have a chicken and egg problem. Generally, graduate programs that prepare CS faculty don't teach accessibility topics, so faculty do have the background.  Mainstream textbooks don't cover much accessibility either.  In this way the lack of accessibility content in courses perpetuates.  There are a number of avenues to change this: job requirements for industry ask for accessibility knowledge, ABET, the CS accreditation board lists this as a high priority topic, and sample syllabuses from ACM and other organizations contain accessibility content.  TeachAccess.org is working on all three.  This is a relatively slow process, but it is moving in the right direction.

    Richard

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 10:03 a.m.

    Although progress has been made, we have a long way to go to make IT procured, developed and used on postsecondary campuses accessible to faculty, students, staff, and visitors with disabilities, as evidenced by the growing number of civil rights complaints and resolutions (with the Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights) regarding inaccessible IT on campuses nationwide. I am Co-PI of AccessComputing but also direct Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington. Major barriers to IT that result in remediation by our disability services office for specific students are related to PDFs (mostly scanned-in images whose content is not accessible to technology that reads text to individuals who are blind and to those who have Dyslexia or other reading-related learning disabilities) and videos (lack of captions or unedited computer-created captions on YouTube). So, besides encouraging faculty members to teach about accessibility we need to encourage all faculty to use accessible IT in the delivery of online content.

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 09:43 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more. My son is dyslexic and is now entering his senior year at UMass Amherst. Although there have been a few quirks in the system, UMass has been terrifically supportive in general and he is doing well. When you mention that about PDFs I vaguely remember hearing about that in the NINETIES - I'm still stunned that these issues remain in such early stages of being remedied. Kudos to you for your work and I've learned a lot. So appreciative of your investment in sharing on the video Showcase!

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 10:11 a.m.

    In our AccessComputing project, we hosted a one day capacity-building institute at the annual Accessing Higher Ground conference. You will find the "Teaching About Accessibility in Computing and IT Courses" proceedings at https://www.washington.edu/doit/teaching-about-...

     
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    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 11:06 a.m.

    Thanks for sharing this really important work. It seems to me that this problem is important enough to require a “both-and” approach. In other words, accessibility should be addressed throughout the curriculum and there should also be courses and specializations to educate more experts who focus on these issues. Are you familiar with examples of the latter - programs where CS students can develop expertise in addressing accessibility? Like an earlier commenter, I also appreciate the framing of software that is disabling. It shifts the conversation away from deficit views of people with disabilities and towards the ways in which problems of accessibility exist in the built ordesigned environment and the related social construction of disability. 

  • Icon for: Andy Ko

    Andy Ko

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 11:28 a.m.

    There are a few universities that teach dedicated courses on accessibility. We have one at the University of Washington Information School, but only teach it occasionally, when our experts are available. This is one of the big challenges of scarce expertise: without more faculty with this expertise, it's hard to teach deep content on it, but without teaching that deep content, we won't have experts. The community is very much bootstrapping right now.

  • Icon for: Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 11:36 a.m.

    This does sound like a really challenging problem. I wonder whether faculty in disability studies or special education might collaborate with CS faculty who don't necessarily have this expertise to create cross-listed or interdisciplinary classes on the topic...

  • Icon for: Brianna Blaser

    Brianna Blaser

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 12:10 p.m.

    Through AccessComputing, I work with a nationwide group of students with disabilities who are studying computing fields.  Over time, I've worked with some students who are interested in learning more about accessibility but don't have courses at their schools on the topic.  Some of those students have done independent projects where they've taught themselves or sought out REUs or other internships where they can learn about accessibility.  

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 01:17 p.m.

    This situation points out the need for accessibility to be covered in the mainstream curriculum in computing fields.

  • Icon for: Sheryl Burgstahler

    Sheryl Burgstahler

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 01:22 p.m.

    Daniel, unfortunately, IT content is not covered well in many Disability Studies and Special Education programs. Faculty might have better luck partnering with accessible technology specialists within the central IT organization or within a campus disability services office.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.