The Access to Computing in Higher Education CBI took place on January 31, 2010, in Los Angeles, CA. Its overall purpose was to explore ways to increase the participation and success of students with disabilities in computing and IT postsecondary studies and careers.
Participants in this one-day event included administrators and teaching faculty from institutions around the county. Hosted by the UW, the CBI provided a forum for comparing recruitment and access challenges, sharing successful practices, developing collaborations, and otherwise increasing the capacity of institutions to serve students with disabilities in computing and IT fields. Specific goals of this CBI were to
- bring together campus and community members who represent students with disabilities, faculty and administrators in IT and computing, and programs that serve to broaden participation in computing and IT fields;
- share best practices and develop new methods that will increase the number and success of students with disabilities in computing and IT fields;
- learn about accessibility, universal design, and funding opportunities to increase the participation for students with disabilities in computing and IT fields; and
- network with colleagues from around the country.
Speakers and panelists were also CBI participants and shared their expertise on a variety of topics related to computing, IT, and student success. Broad issues that were discussed included
- access to higher education curricula and courses through universal design of education and accommodations.
- best practices for outreach to veterans with disabilities in higher education.
- strategies to develop effective partnerships between disabled student services offices, computing departments, veterans organizations, and other campus services.
- increasing access to computing and IT through assistive technology.
- developing accessible computing and IT curricula.
- assisting students with disabilities in their transitions to computing and IT graduate education and careers.
In this CBI
- all participants contributed to its success;
- experts in topic areas were in the audience; and
- although some of the CBI content was predetermined, discussions and presentation content changed as the meeting unfolded and participant interests were expressed.
The CBI was comprised of panel and individual presentations and working group discussions. Panel discussions and individual presentations offered participants opportunities to discover new ways to make computing and IT accessible for students with disabilities. Working group discussions allowed participants time to gather in small groups and discuss the following questions:
- How can disability support services, computing departments, veterans organizations, and other groups work together effectively to increase the number of people with disabilities in the computing sciences?
- What specifically can your computing department, disability support services office, veterans organization, and other campus service do to improve the recruitment and support of students with disabilities in computing departments and IT careers?
The agenda for the CBI, summaries of the presentations and panels, and reports from the working group discussions are provided on the following pages.