The Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing) has funds available to support training, experiential learning, and other computing and information technology (IT)-related activities nationwide. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of people with disabilities, including Post-9/11 veterans, successfully pursuing computing careers.
An institution or other organization can seek funding to support
- an existing computing event in order to attract/involve students with disabilities. Check with your computing department and see if there is an upcoming event to which you could add a mini-program for students with disabilities. For example, AccessComputing funds speakers and exhibits focused on assistive technology and other disability issues as part of the University of Washington (UW) Engineering Open House. In addition, students with disabilities are invited to a pizza lunch to network with other students, faculty, and mentors.
- a stand-alone new event to attract and support students with disabilities in computing fields.
- a training event for faculty, administrators, or staff to improve access to computing curricula and programs for students with disabilities and/or to include disability-related topics in their course curricula.
- a professional development opportunity for students with disabilities, faculty, and staff to attend a conference or symposium.
Visit AccessComputing Minigrant Projects at www.uw.edu/accesscomputing/minigrant_pp.html to view additional successful projects funded through this effort.
Examples of activities that have received AccessComputing funding include the following:
- Alice in Roboland Computer Literacy Camp, coordinated by Daniela Marghitu, was a summer event hosted at Auburn University in Alabama. Project objectives were to promote success in computing for children with disabilities and to educate university computing students on how to work with diverse populations of students. Students learned about computers and the Internet; how to browse, navigate, and search the web, use the Microsoft Office software, design and publish a web page, and program computers using interactive educational applications.
- Expanding Access to Computing: Teaching & Design for All Abilities event, led by Renee Fall of the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE), was held in conjunction with the Massachusetts STEM Summit. Twenty different postsecondary campuses were represented by disability service staff, student life staff, faculty/researchers in computer science, and student panelists. Participants reported an increased awareness of (1) challenges faced by students with disabilities, (2) opportunities available for students with disabilities in IT, and (3) options for increasing the participation of students with disabilities in computing and IT studies, leading to increased representation in these career fields.
- An AccessComputing minigrant funded the participation costs of ten members of the Georgia State University Veterans Coordinating Council at the Department of Defense Worldwide Education Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia. At this event, participants discussed issues related to the education of veterans and active duty service members, including those with disabilities, and brought ideas back to implement at their institution.
Would you like to submit a proposal?
We expect most requests to be for $4,000-5,000. The proposal process is simple; just put your request in the following format and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals can be submitted any time, but limited funding is available.
AccessComputing Minigrant Activity Proposal
Contact Information for Minigrant Applicant:
Activity Objective(s) and Outcome(s)
How will your activity promote the interest, participation, and/or success of individuals with disabilities in computing careers?
How will your activity achieve these objectives? (Include draft agenda and expected number of participants.)
For what expenses do you request funding from AccessComputing (e.g.,travel expenses for a speaker, refreshments for participants, facility rental, printed materials)? Note that we cannot reimburse for staff time or indirect cost.
Activity Management, Support Staff, and Timeline
Who will do what, and when to publicize, implement, and evaluate the results of your activity.
How will you know you have achieved activity objectives (e.g., use of evaluation forms, observations, interviews), especially documenting increased interest and/or pursuit of computing on the part of students with disabilities? We particularly encourage you to follow-up with participants after the event to determine impact. Following the activity, grant recipients are required to submit a project summary, evaluation form, and participant surveys. The evaluation form and sample participant surveys are available at the AccessComputing Minigrant Evaluation Forms page.
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