Exploring Computing and Information Sciences/Technology Research for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

By Raja Kushalnagar, AccessComputing Co-PI

On April 19, 2022, deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduates in computing and technology fields came together for a virtual workshop about computing/technology research and applying to graduate school.

A slide from Raja's presentation showing his degrees and jobs.

I gave the first presentation of the workshop, A Journey to a Career in Computing, focusing on my career path through school and my career. We had a panel discussion with deaf graduate students and recent Ph.D. graduates, Daniel Seita (Carnegie Mellon), Alex Lu (Microsoft), Abraham Glasser (Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT), Brienna Herold (RIT), and Lizzie Codick (RIT). AccessComputing PI Richard Ladner shared about applying to graduate school and Sarah Augustine shared about internships with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

There were many interesting points raised throughout the workshop. The panelists discussed ways to regularly correspond with support services and get needed resources to navigate the rigors of graduate school. They attributed their success to working hard, paying attention, and asking questions when they didn’t understand something. The panelists also discussed the importance of setting aside time to correspond with the support services to arrange for interpreters, captioners or other support services. Universities that have a critical mass of deaf or hearing students have larger, more knowledgeable support services that can take on the time to arrange for interpreters and reduce the students’ burden. They talked about taking a holistic approach in adopting varying support services in communicating with their peers, advisors, and others and in building a strong network of friends and mentors for advice if there are any issues in providing opportunities for them to pursue during and after graduate school.