Continued Funding for AccessComputing

Brianna Blaser, DO-IT Staff
An instructor shows a student what to do on the computer.
AccessComputing works to ensure that students with disabilities can be successful in computing education and careers.

NSF approved an additional investment of almost $4,000,000 in the Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing), a project that they have funded continuously for a decade, with a total investment of more than $8,000,000. With new funding, AccessComputing continues its work increasing the number and success of people with disabilities in computing degree programs and careers and work to increase the capacity of postsecondary institutions and other organizations to fully include students with disabilities in computing courses and programs.

Two new co-PIs, associate professors Amy J. Ko and Jacob O. Wobbrock from the UW Information School, join PI Richard Ladner and co-PI Sheryl Burgstahler on the project. Amy J. Ko directs the USE research group, which invents technologies that help people understand and overcome complex software. Her interests span human-computer interaction (HCI), software engineering, and computing education. Jacob Wobbrock’s expertise is in the field of HCI, where he conducts studies of people’s interactions with technology and invents, designs, and builds new interactive technologies.

A diverse set of postsecondary institutions and computing organizations are AccessComputing partners and students with disabilities engage in mentoring and professional development opportunities. A new group of industry affiliates is being formed, bringing greater focus on placing students with disabilities into computing careers after successfully completing their education. A new activity explores how to integrate disability, accessibility, and universal design topics into computing curricula.