Brianna Blaser, AccessComputing Staff
OurCS@UW+AccessComputing brought together students and mentors in an interactive research-focused workshop on UW campus.

OurCS@UW+AccessComputing, a two-day research-focused workshop for undergraduate women with disabilities in computing fields, was held April 11 – 13 in the new Gates Center at the UW. Students from universities nationwide were immersed in an interactive workshop with mentors from UW, other universities, and Google.

Thirty-six students with disabilities from across the country participated in research explorations with faculty, graduate students, and professional mentors. The explorations focused on accessibility-related topics including app accessibility, accessibility of design methods, fabrication for accessibility, social robots for mental health, accessible virtual reality, and teachable machines for sign language. Working in small groups with mentors, students explored these areas and presented on their findings. Students joined the AccessComputing team and will continue to engage with each other and AccessComputing.

OurCS@UW+AccessComputing also featured keynote presentations by mentors with disabilities. Jen Mankoff, the Richard E. Ladner Professor in UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, gave a keynote that looked at ways that her research interests evolved over time as her disability changed. Shiri Azenkot, assistant professor of information science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, Cornell University, gave a keynote that focused on navigation for individuals with low vision.

Funding was provided by Google Explore CSR, the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, and AccessComputing.