Closing the Gap (AccessComputing News Feb 2009)

Michael Richardson, AccessComputing Manager

Every October, one of the largest assistive technology conferences in the country occurs in Minnesota. The conference, called Closing the Gap (CTG), focuses on computing tools and education. Each year, DO-IT projects participate by hosting an exhibit and delivering presentations. For the past two years AccessComputing resources and activities have been highlighted.

Two AccessComputing articles were featured in the January 2009 issue of the CTG journal, which is distributed in print and online. One is described in the following article entitled "Ignite Your Education with Work-Based Learning" on page five. In the other article "Including Accessible Technology-Rich Activities in an Existing Summer Camp," AccessComputing Co-Director Sheryl Burgstahler discussed how to develop a strategic plan to bring accessible computing activities into a summer camp. Using a technology-rich program co-sponsored by DO-IT and Camp Courage, a camp for students with disabilities, as a case study, Burgstahler outlined strategies for success. She included the following tips:

  • Find out about campers' interests and previous computer and Internet experiences. You are likely to find that you need to create flexible, alternative activities for a diverse group.
  • Find a facility with computers or make plans to rent or buy them.
  • Arrange for Internet service. Sometimes you can obtain accounts through a school or university.
  • Integrate the Internet program into other camp activities. For example, let your campers research a camp activity via the Internet, or create a World Wide Web page for the camp, including pictures of campers and camp activities.

More information on including technology in a summer camp program can be found at

For more information about the CTG conference and journal, visit