A Capacity-Building Workshop for Georgia Tech (AccessComputing News - January 2012)

Brianna Blaser, AccessComputing Staff

With sponsorship from AccessComputing, Georgia Computes, GVU Center, and the Institute for People and Technology, Georgia Tech sponsored A Capacity-Building Workshop for Georgia Tech in September 2011. The workshop aimed to increase the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields and, in particular, to help Georgia Tech to improve how they facilitate success of students with disabilities.

AccessComputing staff worked with Georgia Tech to design an agenda and activities tailored to the needs of Georgia Tech. The day consisted of a series of module sessions to allow participants to come to the sessions most relevant to their own roles and to allow more flexibility for attendees who may not be able to come for the full day.

The agenda for the day began with an Executive Session for department chairs and other department administrators led by Dr. Richard Ladner from the University of Washington. The discussion focused on issues for students with disabilities at Georgia Tech and recognition that it is important to engage this group. Sessions also included presentations from faculty, a student panel, discussions, and a presentation from Dr. Ladner emphasizing the role of education and human resource development.

Mark Guzdial, one of the organizers and participants, wrote a blog post on his experience of the workshop and the lessons he learned. He wrote, "Overall, the day was really worthwhile for me. I became aware of a lot of issues that I'd never even thought about before, from PDF's to blackboards. I mostly became aware of how much we need to do."