AccessComputing Events a Huge Success!

Val Sundby, DO-IT staff

This summer, high school and college students with disabilities and an interest in computer science attended events aimed at increasing their successful participation in high-tech college programs and careers. These events took place at institutions around the country as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing) at the University of Washington, as described in the previous article.

At the University of Southern Maine, high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors with disabilities attended a two-day Summer Computing Institute. The goal of this institute was to motivate the students to consider higher education courses and careers in computing fields. These students lived on campus, learned new computing skills, looked at college and career options, met with representatives from college admissions offices, and attended sessions taught by university faculty.

At the University of Minnesota, Duluth, high school and college students attended meetings and presentation with Mark Zupan, a civil engineer who also participates as part of the U.S. Quadriplegic Rugby Team and was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Murderball. This presentation was co-hosted by the University of Minnesota, Duluth's College of Science and Engineering in order to encourage local students with disabilities to consider careers in science and engineering.

At Gallaudet University, high school students from around the country, including a DO-IT Scholar, attended a Summer College Transition Academy in Computing. The Department of Mathematics & Computer Science hosted lectures, activities, mathematics courses, and field trips to increase students' interest in computing and to prepare deaf and hard-of-hearing students for college studies in computing fields.

Other AccessComputing events included workshops on accessible Web and course design at Florida State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.