Making the Field of Computing More Inclusive

Jonathan Lazar, AccessComputing Partner
Video capture from SIGCHI's video about their conference's new accessibility features.

The March 2017 issue of Communications of the ACM features an article documenting how ACM SIGCHI, over the past six years, has become more inclusive for teachers, researchers, practitioners, and students with disabilities. The SIGCHI organization has focused on making conferences digital resources more accessible. Improvements include

  1. captioning of organizational videos,
  2. improved information flows about accessibility in both conference registration forms and post-conference surveys,
  3. use of an accessibility checklist when selecting conference facilities,
  4. pilot testing of different approaches for improving research paper accessibility,
  5. improvements in website accessibility, and
  6. the development of a community of people with disabilities to directly provide feedback to the executive committee of SIGCHI.

I, the lead author on the featured article, as well as my co-authors, have served on the executive committee of SIGCHI, chaired CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) conferences, and/or currently lead the SIGCHI accessibility community. The Communications of the ACM editors also created a five minute video about the steps taken by SIGCHI, which features AccessComputing PI Richard Ladner and Co-PI Sheryl Burgstahler.