Communities of Practice

The DO-IT Center at the University of Washington hosts members of Communities of Practice (CoPs) for multiple stakeholder groups. Communicating using email and other electronic tools, members of CoPs share perspectives and expertise and identify practices that promote the participation and success of people with disabilities in postsecondary education and careers.

Image of an instructor assisting a student on the computer

You can join any of the CoPs listed below by sending to doit@uw.edu the name of the CoP(s) you would like to join along with the following information:

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

CoPs

Accessible Distance Learning CoP

Distance learning program administrators and support staff use the Accessible Distance Learning CoP to increase their knowledge about disabilities and make changes in distance learning that lead to more inclusive practices. Members discuss:

  • management;
  • staffing;
  • training; and
  • policy issues related to creating accessible distance learning courses and programs.

Blind and Low Vision CoP

Practitioners who support individuals who are blind or have low vision connect via the Blind and Low Vision CoP. 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 and other high tech fields;
  • recruit high school and college students with disabilities for academies and workshops, e-mentoring communities, internships, and other activities;
  • locate speakers and participants who are blind or have low vision to conferences and other events nationwide;
  • contribute to the development 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 Capacity-Building Institutes;
  • work with existing programs and projects to make them accessible to students who are blind or have low vision;
  • provide input regarding wording on publications, web documents, and other materials to make them appeal to individuals who are blind or have low vision; and
  • suggest/provide content for the searchable Knowledge Base, particularly questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices relevant to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

Broadening Participation CoP

Populated with individuals who administer projects that serve to broaden participation in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, members:

  • discuss how to recruit participants with disabilities and accommodate them in their programs and activities and to make their offerings more accessible overall;
  • recruit their participants with disabilities into disability-related e-mentoring, internships, academies, and workshops to complement their activities;
  • co-sponsor events and discuss potential new projects and share funding possibilities;
  • disseminate information about their projects and results through the Knowledge Base; and
  • help plan and recruit participants for Capacity-Building Institutes.
Image of a group of students at the Seattle Pacific Science Center

Computing Faculty, Administrator, and Employer CoP

Computing professionals, faculty, and administrators as well as representatives from industry and professional organizations use the Computing Faculty, Administrator, and Employer CoP 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 underrepresentation of people with disabilities in computing fields;
  • help identify, field test, and Computing Department Accessibility Indicators to make computing departments more welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities;
  • help organizations make their websites accessible to visitors with disabilities, their conferences accessible to attendees with disabilities, and their conference programs inclusive of disability-related topics;
  • help plan, attend, and 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 postsecondary 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 staff target disability-related articles to computing publications.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing CoP

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 exchange ideas and share resources via the Deaf and Hard of Hearing CoP. 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 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 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, Equal Access: Universal Design of Computing Departments, Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing);
  • provide input regarding wording on 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; and
  • suggest and provide content for the Knowledge Base, particularly questions and answers, case studies, and promising practices relevant to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Disability Services CoP

Comprised of disability service professionals from community and technical colleges, four-year colleges, and universities nationwide, together with their networks of postsecondary and K-12 schools (e.g., affiliates of Association on Higher Education and Disability and parent groups (e.g., affiliates of Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights Center, members of this CoP:

  • recruit high school and college students with disabilities for academies and workshops, e-mentoring communities, internships, and other activities;
  • deliver presentations to faculty in order to share information about accommodations and campus services for students with disabilities;
  • work with educators and administrators to invite students with disabilities to career fairs, 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 and help other CoP members develop such activities;
  • help plan, and recruit participants for Capacity-Building Institutes; and
  • provide content for the searchable Knowledge Base.

Industry and Career Services CoP

This CoP is populated with employers and career services staff, including those at postsecondary institutions and career organizations. The focus of the CoP is to increase the opportunities and success of people with disabilities in internships and careers, especially those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Specifically, CoP members:

  • identify, recruit, and accommodate eligible participants with disabilities into internships and other work-based learning opportunities;
  • co-sponsor events and discuss potential new projects and share funding possibilities;
  • help plan and recruit participants for Capacity-Building Institutes; and
  • include disability topics in staff and employee training, outreach activities, and resources.

Invisible Disabilities CoP

Members of the invisible disabilities CoP explore strategies for increasing the participation of students who have invisible disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities, Asperger syndrome, attention deficits, psychiatric impairments) in computing fields and recruit 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 searchable Knowledge Base.

Mobility/Orthopedic CoP

Members of this CoP explore strategies for increasing the participation of students with mobility or orthopedic impairments in computing and other high tech fields. Members:

  • 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 or help 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 searchable Knowledge Base.

 

Image of an instructor assisting a student

RDE CoP

This CoP is comprised of representatives from projects that are funded by the Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) program of the National Science Foundation. Participants share ideas for collaborating disseminating project results and materials through:

  • conference exhibits,
  • joint publications,
  • presentations,
  • published articles,
  • videos,
  • websites, and
  • the searchable Knowledge Base.

STEMed CoP

This CoP is populated with K-12 and postsecondary educators and administrators interested in promoting the success of students with disabilities of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses and careers. Participants:

  • gain and share knowledge and help identify issues related to the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in STEM fields;
  • introduce DO-IT staff to administrators of professional STEM 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 recruit others to attend Capacity-Building Institutes;
  • identify STEM events to which students with disabilities might be invited;
  • discuss how to include accessibility topics in STEM curricula;
  • provide connections with STEM faculty and industry for internships; and
  • help DO-IT staff target articles to STEM publications.

Universal Design in Higher Education CoP

This CoP is comprised of individuals interested in exploring universal design (UD) and its applications in higher education. Participants on this CoP:

  • promising practices for infusing universal design on postsecondary campuses;
  • applying UD to all educational opportunities that include instruction, technology, student services and physical spaces; and
  • specific topics in the book Universal Design and Higher Education: From Principles to Practice and contribute materials to be shared through the Center on Universal Design in Education.

Veterans CoP

Populated by veterans with disabilities, service providers, and volunteer mentors, members of this CoP:

  • 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;
  • co-sponsor events, discuss potential projects, and share funding possibilities;
  • help plan and recruit participants for Capacity-Building Institutes;
  • share common concerns in their practices;
  • identify problems, goals, and resources;
  • assess change; and
  • form collaborations.