Mellon Foundation Award Winner (AccessComputing News Feb 2009)

Michael Richardson, AccessComputing Manager

The UW Department of Computer Science & Engineering's WebAnywhere project was a recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award for Technology Collaboration (MATC). As Vint Cerf presented the award at the Coalition for Networked Information fall meeting he stated:

The MATC Awards have a history of recognizing projects that improve accessibility for people with visual or other impairments, and this year is no exception...By providing a screen-reader as a web server component, WebAnywhere allows an institution to provide screen-reading functionality to any computer, anywhere in the world, as long as it has speakers, an Internet connection, and a web browser. Because screen readers can cost thousands of dollars per machine and cannot be moved easily, the total benefit to an institution can be considerable—and the improved mobility for persons with visual impairments generates substantial benefits for students and faculty.

Jeff Bigham, a UW doctoral candidate in computer science and the creator of WebAnywhere, accepted the award on behalf of the UW. As part of AccessComputing, Bigham will facilitate a computer science track at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Youth Slam in summer 2009. For more information on the NFB Youth Slam, visit