Communities of Practice

AccessComputing hosts a variety Communities of Practice (CoPs) for diverse groups of stakeholders. Communicating via email and other electronic tools, CoP members share their perspectives and expertise and identify practices that promote the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields.

Each of the CoPs are described below.

Blind and Low Vision CoP

Connects practitioners who support individuals who are blind or have low vision. Members include researchers, college educators, high school teachers, schools for the visually impaired, and professional organizations. Members of this CoP

  • explore strategies for increasing the participation of students who are blind or have low vision in computing fields;
  • recruit high school and college students with disabilities for Alliance academies and workshops, e-mentoring communities, internships, and other activities;
  • locate speakers and participants who are blind or have low vision to computing conferences and other events nationwide;
  • develop computing transition and bridge workshops/academies for students who are or have low vision;
  • help plan, and recruit participants who are blind or have low vision for AcccessComputing Capacity-Building Institutes;
  • work with existing computing programs and projects to make them accessible to students who are blind or have low vision; help update documents with appropriate wording for individuals who are blind or have low vision;
  • provide input on the document Equal Access: Universal Design of Computing Departments relevant to the inclusion of students, faculty, and staff who are blind or have low vision in computing departments;
  • provide input regarding wording on all AccessComputing publications, web documents, and other materials to make them appeal to individuals who are blind or have low vision;
  • provide ideas and feedback of relevant articles in the searchable Knowledge Base; and
  • suggest/provide content for the AccessComputing Alliance Knowledge Base, particularly questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices relevant to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Broadening Participation CoP

Is populated with Alliance collaborators who administer alliances and projects that serve to broaden participation in computing fields. Members

  • discuss how to recruit participants with disabilities and accommodate them in their programs and activities and to, overall, make their offerings more accessible;
  • recruit their participants with disabilities into AccessComputing Alliance e-mentoring, internships, academies, and workshops to complement their activities;
  • identify, recruit, and accommodate eligible Alliance participants;
  • co-sponsor events and discuss potential new projects and share funding possibilities;
  • disseminate Alliance information and information about their projects and results through the Knowledge Base; and
  • help plan and recruit participants for Capacity-Building Institutes.

Computing Faculty, Administrator, and Employer CoP

Helps computing professionals, faculty, k-12 teachers, and administrators as well as representatives from industry and professional organizations increase their knowledge about disabilities and make changes in computing departments that lead to more inclusive practices. Participants

  • gain and share knowledge and help identify issues related to the under-representation of people with disabilities in computing fields;
  • help identify, field test, and validate Computing Department Accessibility Indicators to make computing departments more accessible to students with disabilities;
  • introduce Alliance staff to administrators of professional computing organizations so that staff can help these organizations make their websites accessible, their conferences accessible to attendees with disabilities, and their conference programs inclusive of disability-related topics;
  • help plan, attend and/or recruit others to attend Capacity-Building Institutes;
  • identify campus computing events to which students with disabilities might be invited;
  • discuss how to include accessibility topics in computing curriculum;
  • discuss issues and help locate Ph.D. graduates with disabilities to recruit as faculty;
  • provide connections with computing faculty and industry for internships; and
  • help Alliance staff target articles to computing publications.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing CoP

Consists of existing practitioners/ networks that support individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and are interested in increasing the representation of these individuals in computing fields. It includes researchers, college educators, K-12 school teachers, and representatives of networks of precollege and postsecondary schools for the deaf and hard of hearing, professional organizations, parent groups, and precollege and postsecondary institutions that have special programs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Members of this CoP

  • recruit high school and college students who are deaf or hard of hearing for Alliance academies and workshops, e-mentoring communities, internships, and other activities;
  • locate speakers who are deaf or hard of hearing and recruit participants who are deaf or hard of hearing to computing conferences and other events nationwide;
  • develop computing transition and bridge workshops/academies for students who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • help plan, and recruit participants who are deaf or hard of hearing for AcccessComputing Capacity-Building Institutes;
  • work with existing computing programs and projects to make them accessible to students who are deaf or hard of hearing; help update documents with appropriate wording for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those who do and do not identify with Deaf culture (e.g., Equal Access: Universal Design of Your Project, Equal Access: Universal Design of Professional Organizations);
  • provide input on the document Equal Access: Universal Design of Computing Departments relevant to the inclusion of students, faculty and staff who are deaf or hard of hearing in computing departments;
  • provide input regarding wording on all AccessComputing publications, web documents, and other materials to make them appeal to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, both those who identify with Deaf culture and those who do not;
  • provide ideas and feedback regarding the Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing website, including the searchable Knowledge Base of relevant articles; and
  • suggest/provide content for the AccessComputing Alliance Knowledge Base, particularly questions and answers, case studies and promising practices relevant to individuals duals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Disability Services CoP

Consists of disability service professionals from community/technical colleges, four-year colleges, and universities nationwide, together with their networks of postsecondary and K-12 schools (e.g., affiliates of AHEAD) and parent groups (e.g., affiliates of PACER). Members of this CoP

  • recruit high school and college students with disabilities for Alliance academies and workshops, e-mentoring communities, internships, and other activities;
  • deliver presentations to computing faculty in order to share information about accommodations and campus services for students with disabilities;
  • identify and validate Accessibility Indicators for computing departments;
  • work with computing professors and administrators to invite students with disabilities to career fairs, computing lectures, and other events; work with groups to make sure activities are accessible; and help bring speakers with disabilities and exhibits that focus on disability-related topics;
  • develop transition and bridge workshops in computing and/or help other Community of Practice members develop such activities;
  • help plan, and recruit participants for Capacity-Building Institutes; and
  • provide content for the AccessComputing Alliance Knowledge Base.

Invisible Disabilities CoP

Explores strategies for increasing the participation of students who have invisible disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, Asperger's syndrome, attention deficits, psychiatric impairments) in computing fields and recruits project participants. Members of this CoP

  • share strategies for promoting the participation of people with disabilities in computing;
  • discuss strategies for making computing departments, projects, and conferences more accessible;
  • include disability topics in computing courses, training, and outreach activities and resources;
  • engage with colleagues in publishing research articles;
  • develop transition and bridge workshops in computing (with project funding);
  • make professional organizations and activities more accessible to individuals with disabilities; and
  • help plan and recruit participants for project activities.
  • propose content for the AccessComputing Knowledge Base.

Mobility and Orthopedic CoP

Explores strategies for increasing the participation of students with mobility or orthopedic impairments in computing fields and recruits project participants. Members of this CoP

  • share strategies for promoting the participation of people with disabilities in computing;
  • discuss strategies for making computing departments, projects, and conferences more accessible;
  • include disability topics in computing courses, training, and outreach activities and resources;
  • engage with colleagues in publishing research articles;
  • develop transition and bridge workshops in computing (with project funding);
  • make professional organizations and activities more accessible to individuals with disabilities;
  • help plan and recruit participants for project activities; and
  • propose content for the AccessComputing Knowledge Base.

Veterans CoP

Is populated by veterans with disabilities, service providers, and volunteer mentors. Members

  • interact regularly to improve service to veterans with disabilities and their families;
  • discuss how to recruit veterans with disabilities and accommodate them in their programs and activities;
  • devise solutions that increase the accessibility of their program offerings;
  • develop internships, academies, and workshops to complement their program activities;
  • identify, recruit, and accommodate eligible AccessComputing participants;
  • co-sponsor events, discuss potential projects, and share funding possibilities;
  • help plan and recruit participants for CBIs;
  • share common concerns in their practices;
  • identify problems, goals, and resources;
  • assess change; and
  • form collaborations.

You and your colleagues can join AccessComputing CoPs by indicating which of the six CoPs you would like to join and sending the following information to accesscomp@uw.edu:

  • Name
  • Position/ Job Title
  • Institution
  • Postal Address
  • Email Address