My name is Jonathan. I am the Chief Accessibility Officer at SSB BART Group a company that specializes in accessibility standards compliance. Although most people imagine that a career in computing is about programming, only about 25% of my time is spent programming. The rest of my time is divided between technical writing, research, management, and consulting. I am responsible for maintaining our accessibility testing methodology, creating best practices, and staying current on new standards. I write blogs, reports, and provide consultations to large and small organizations.

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My name is John. I'm a PhD student in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at the University of Washington, and I hope to complete my program within the next three years.

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I have dyslexia, which, as a child, not only impeded my ability to read, but made me often see and interact with information in a different way.

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My name is Jason. I earned an Associate of Science in information and computing studies from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and a Bachelor of Science in information technology with web-database integration from Rochester Institute of Technology. While I was an undergraduate, I had multiple internships including ones at NASA and IBM. Recently, I was accepted into the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Masters in computer science program.

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My name is Emanuel. I am a graduate student in computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I am also an intern at IBM Research doing mobile development.

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Five Years of Summer Academy

Picture of students at the Summer Academy.The Summer Academy is an academically challenging program designed for deaf and hard-of-hearing students with skills in math and/or science who may be considering computing as a career. Admission is extremely competitive, based on an assessment of ability in computing, and enthusiasm to participate in an intensive experience in all things computing.

Youth Slam

Youth Slam has been hosted by the National Federation of the Blind since 2004. This five-day academy engages and inspires high school students who are blind to consider careers falsely believed to be inaccessible to them and bring a unified voice to the next generation of blind professionals. At the 2011 Youth Slam event held in July, Dr. Jeffrey Bigham led a track designed to introduce students to computer science through a project based around navigation with the iPhone.

Saturday Computing Experience

Eleven deaf and hard-of-hearing students from Seattle-area high schools participated in the Saturday Computing Experience for eight weeks in spring 2012. Richard Ladner, PI of AccessComputing, led the class along with nine volunteers, including graduate students from the Computer Science and Engineering Department and staff from Google, Isilon and Microsoft. Three graduates of the Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Computing and AccessComputing team members, Jordan Atwood, Josiah Cheslik and Travis Smith, served as teaching assistants.


My name is Diana. I graduated six months ago from Georgia State University (GSU) where I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in computer information systems and a certificate of international business. The IT field is always changing, and I excel in dynamic environments so computing was a great fit for me.

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“Is it working?” It sounded as though Minnie Mouse was talking, but I could see clearly that the person across from me was my mother, not an over-sized rodent in polka dots. The phrase was not as dramatic as Alexander Graham Bell’s, “Mr. Watson—come in here,” but for me, it was just as momentous. I was thirteen. As my cochlear implant was activated, those three words were the first I had ever heard clearly. I had just entered high school and this was the crossroads in my journey towards independence in the world and a critical impetus toward pursuing a career in a STEM field.

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