Community of Practice


[Student in a wheelchair operates a computer with speech input.]

To continue to engage with Sheryl, Richard, and others interested in making computing and IT fields more welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities, consider joining one of our online CoPs. Communicating through email, CoPs share perspectives and expertise and identify practices that promote the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields. Collaborators may request Alliance funding for registration fees and publications for conferences for which their Alliance presentations/exhibits are accepted, on-campus events, and computing internships for students with disabilities. Three CoPs are most relevant to the January 2010 CBI. You and your colleagues can join AccessComputing CoPs by indicating which of the three CoPs you would like to join and sending the following information to accesscomp@uw.edu:

  1. Computing Faculty, Administrator, and Employer CoP engages computing professionals, faculty, and administrators, as well as representatives from industry and professional organizations to 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;
    • identify campus computing events to which students with disabilities might be invited; and
    • provide connections with computing faculty and industry for internships.
  2. 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;
    • co-sponsor events, discuss potential new projects, share funding possibilities; and
    • disseminate Alliance information and information about their projects and results through the Knowledge Base.
  3. Disability Services CoP 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
    • 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 to share information about accommodations and campus services for students with disabilities;
    • identify and validate Computing Department Accessibility Indicators;
    • 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; and
    • suggest content for the AccessComputing Alliance Knowledge Base.