AccessComputing Completes Successful First Year!

Michael Richardson, DO-IT program manager

The goal of The Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing) is to increase the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields. AccessComputing collaborators apply proven practices to:

  • increase the number of students with disabilities successfully pursuing education and careers in computing fields
  • increase the capacity of postsecondary computing departments to fully include students with disabilities in computing courses and programs
  • create a nationwide resource to help computing educators and employers, professional organizations, and other stakeholders develop more inclusive programs and share effective practices

During the first year of AccessComputing:

  • Fifteen people joined the Advisory Board and attended meetings to address challenges of increasing the representation of people with disabilities in computing academics and careers. Many board members are computing professionals themselves, from companies that include Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cray Corporation, and View Plus Technologies.
  • One hundred and sixteen educators, employers, and other stakeholders joined AccessComputing Communities of Practice (CoPs) to share perspectives and expertise and identify practices that promote the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields.
  • One hundred and forty-seven students with disabilities attended seven events supported by AccessComputing funds. In these activities, participants learned about careers in computing and college transition issues; practiced self-advocacy skills; explored options for internships and jobs after college; took computing-related field trips; met computing professionals; learned about resources; interacted with peers and mentors; and/or were invited to participate in Alliance e-mentoring communities, internships, and other activities.
  • Thirty high school, college, and graduate students with disabilities joined the AccessComputing Team, an online mentoring community. Mentors also participated in twenty computing internships as part of AccessComputing.

AccessComputing is led by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and DO-IT at the University of Washington. It is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Broadening Participation in Computing program of the Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering (grant #CNS-0540615).

For more information about AccessComputing consult Direct questions to