Teach Access Paper at SIGCSE

Amy J. Ko, AccessComputing Co-PI
Andrew Ko presents at a conference.

The AccessComputing team conducted a nation-wide survey on teaching accessibility. We reached out to 14,176 computing and information science faculty at all institutions of higher education in the United States, and received 1,857 full responses.

The goal of the survey was to learn who is teaching accessibility, what they are teaching, and what barriers faculty see to teaching about accessibility. Of those who responded, about 20% reported teaching something about accessibility in at least one course; about 50% of the institutions that responded had at least one elective course that taught something about accessibility; and 75 institutions had at least two faculty members teaching accessibility. There were only 17 self-described accessibility experts, spread across 14 institutions.

Of the faculty who responded, those who teach accessibility were twice as likely to be female, twice as likely to view accessibility as part of computer science (CS) curricula, three times as likely to have expertise in accessibility, and about 1.5 times as likely to know someone who has a disability. Even most respondents who do not teach accessibility believed that accessibility should be taught in CS—they just did not believe they had enough expertise and did not know how the topic connected to their specific sub-areas of CS.

AccessComputing and Teach Access are using these results to prepare new materials that can help faculty gain expertise in accessibility and potential links to CS curriculum.