A diverse group of students working on a computer project

AccessCSForAll (formerly AccessCS10K) works to increase the successful participation of students with disabilities in K-12 computing. K-12 students with disabilities in computing courses may encounter tools and curricula that are inaccessible to screen readers used by students who are blind or have reading-related disabilities such as dyslexia. Content embedded in images without text-based alternatives accessible by screen readers also creates barriers. Students who are deaf require captions or transcriptions of audio content and students with disabilities can benefit from curricular features that facilitate access to them.

Our grant that was awarded in 2017 will create a research practitioner partnership with schools that serve students who are deaf, blind, or have learning disabilities as well as mainstream schools to test the effectiveness of an accessible version of CSP. The project will also develop resources for computer science teachers to help them include students with disabilities in their courses and partner with the College Board to ensure that they are ready to properly evaluate students with disabilities.

Our original grant, Including Students with Disabilities in Computing Education for the 21st Century, focuses on Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and Computer Science Principles (CSP) through two objectives. The first is to build the capacity of K-12 computing teachers to serve those students with professional development aimed at professional development trainers, curricular units, online tutorials, virtual communities of practice for teachers, and real-time, individual teacher support. The second objective is to create accessible materials, both tools (including iterative refinement and deployment of the Quorum language) and curricular units that K-12 teachers and students can use in their classrooms.

The work is led by teams at the University of Washington and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in partnership with many of the current and future National Science Foundation computing education grantees, K-12 computing educators, and developers of accessible tools and curricula to maximize the impact of their work. All students in K-12 computing classes, regardless of disability, benefit from more inclusive teaching strategies practiced by their teachers.

To learn how you can get involved with AccessCSForAll, contact us at accesscsforall@uw.edu.