Accessible Technology Services
Promotes the success of people with disabilities, using technology as an empowering tool
The University of Washington's Accessible Technology Services (ATS) promotes the success of people with disabilities using technology as an empowering tool to increase independence, productivity, and participation in education.
ATS SUPPORTS TWO CENTERS:
- The Access Technology Center serves UW students, faculty, and staff as part of UW-IT.
- The DO-IT Center—a collaboration of UW-IT and the Colleges of Education and Engineering—secures external funding for statewide, national, and international projects and programs.
Access Technology Center (ATC)
The ATC focuses on ensuring that UW students, faculty, and staff with disabilities have access to technology— including computers, software, and special equipment—that supports them in accomplishing their work.
Center staff help individuals select and use assistive technology and supports a showroom with numerous products, including
- speech and Braille output for those who are blind.
- screen magnification for people with low vision.
- alternatives to the keyboard and mouse.
- speech recognition software.
- tools to make reading and writing easier and computer use more comfortable.
- the capability to create documents in e-text and Braille.
The showroom includes a collection of accessible science equipment such as automatic stirrers, tactile measuring devices, and talking calculators. The ATC provides Braille embossing and tactile graphics services for the UW community.
ATC staff promote the development and use of accessible technology products by
- encouraging student computing facilities to include assistive technology.
- offering courses, delivering presentations, and conducting ATC tours for UW classes and other groups.
- working with campus units to prepare material in accessible electronic formats.
- assisting department web developers in designing accessible websites and applications.
- supporting a central resource to provide guidance to technologists and administrators at the UW and beyond.
The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center secures external funding to address accessibility issues statewide, nationally, and internationally. Working with UW and external partners, the Center has obtained more than $45 million in funding to support activities that increase the success of people with disabilities in college and careers, using technology as an empowering tool. DO-IT is a collaboration between UW-IT and the Colleges of Engineering and Education. It was founded in 1992 with a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Through DO-IT programs, hundreds of students with disabilities and practitioners are engaged in e-mentoring and communities of practice. In addition, high school and college students engage in a two-week residential program at the UW Seattle campus each summer and many more secure high technology internships and participate in other supportive activities. The Center's longitudinal transition study and other evaluation measures document the success of DO-IT's efforts.
The Center works with organizations in the United States and other countries to adapt evidence-based practices to
- promote the success of people with disabilities in college studies and careers.
- advance the development and use of technology for people with disabilities.
- promote the universal design of instruction, physical spaces, technology, and services.
DO-IT's Japan program, hosted by the University of Tokyo, conducts summer study sessions for teens with disabilities and provides mentoring and support for students with disabilities as they pursue college and careers. DO-IT Japan encourages high-tech companies to develop accessible technology and supports people with disabilities in using cell phones, computers, and other technologies.
- DO-IT has received numerous local, regional, and national awards including the following:
- The National Information Infrastructure Award in Education, an international award, which recognizes excellence and innovation in use of the Internet.
- The Golden Apple Award for excellence in precollege education.
- The President's Award of Excellence in Mentoring for mentoring students with disabilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
- The Harry J. Murphy Catalyst Award sponsored by the Trace Research and Development Center.
- Individual and project awards from the Association for Higher Education and Disability.
Accessible Technology Services
Founder and Director: Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2014