Raja Kushalnagar, AccessComputing Partner
Gallaudet University skyline

The Accessible Information and Communication Technology (AICT) program is a summer research program for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing undergraduates at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. The AICT program will run for 10 weeks from May 21 to July 27, 2018 and provides participants with a highly creative, collaborative, inclusive, and mentored summer research experience on accessibility and technology.

Previous program alumni have created novel interfaces for showing captions, interpreters, and automatic speech-to-text. Alumni have also developed guidelines for usability, presentation, and readability of these accommodations. Five alumni (three deaf and two hearing) are in master's programs, and four alumni (three deaf, one hearing) are in PhD programs. Two have Graduate Research Fellowships from NSF. The inclusion and collaboration between deaf and hearing peers in the program has increased the number of researchers and widened the research being done in the AICT field. Including deaf individuals, or anyone from diverse backgrounds, important when developing new ideas because, as William Wulf, former President of the National Academy of Engineering, once said: “creativity does not spring from nothing; it is grounded in our life experiences... Lacking diversity on an engineering team, we limit the set of solutions that will be considered and we may not find the best, the elegant solution.”

The AICT program provides participants with training, experience, and support to create accessible technology to solve concrete problems faced by deaf or low vision users in their regular use of ICT, including television or augmented reality. Participants will get to meet deaf professionals and researchers, and tour institutions involved in accessible ICT policy, such as the Federal Communications Commission, the National Association for the Deaf and the U.S. Congress.

To apply, you must be an undergraduate student in good standing and an U.S. citizen or permanent resident. For more information on the AICT program or on applying, email the AICT Director, Dr. Raja Kushalnagar at, or visit their website to apply.

Gallaudet University is located in Washington, DC. Over the summer, students in the AICT program can visit destinations like the US Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall, where the Smithsonian Institution museums are located. The underground Metrorail system makes travel in the city quick and easy.