The Promoting Equity in Engineering Relationships (PEERs) project at the University of Washington (UW) aimed to improve the experiences of underrepresented undergraduates in the College of Engineering. PEERs integrated NSF-funded efforts to engage a cadre of students, professors, and staff to create positive change toward a more inclusive environment in the College of Engineering, particularly for women, racial/ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities.
All major document publishing formats support alternate text for images, often abbreviated "alt text". The purpose of alt text is to provide a text equivalent of the image, so people who are unable to see the image have access to the message it’s intended to convey.
Many videos on campuses are captioned only as an accommodation for a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, even though they benefit many others, including English language learners, those with reading-related disabilities, and individuals who simply want to see the spelling of words spoken in the presentation. The University of Washington’s UW-IT Free Captioning Project was developed as an effort to promote proactive captioning of videos on campus.
When writing a course syllabus, faculty members can take explicit steps that take into account the abilities of the students that will be in their class, encourage students to discuss their disability with their instructor, and make the syllabus more accessible to students with disabilities. Faculty should:
Students with disabilities interested in studying abroad may need to consider how they will secure academic and housing accommodations, deal with health conditions, and ensure accessibility to facilities, technology, and activities. They may find the following resources useful.
The Neurodiversity in the Engineering Classroom project brought together an interdisciplinary group from across the Purdue University campus and at a partner school in order to:
Shiri Azenkot at Cornell Tech teaches a class on interaction techniques (e.g., text entry and scroll bars). When designing the course, she considered her constraints (time, curriculum requirements, and expectations) and how her course might compare to similar courses across institutions. Rather than including accessibility in the course with an “accessibility lecture,” where she covered everything about accessibility in one short lecture, Shiri chose to integrate disability throughout the course.
Yes. For example, there is a community of individuals who are blind and use the Arduino platform to build hardware devices. Arduino allows users to build digital devices that can sense and control objects in the physical world.
Some students with learning and other types of disabilities may need additional time to complete assignments in lab courses. Described below are examples of how extra time could be provided to an individual student.
Design reviews are a common part of engineering education practice. In design reviews, students or student teams present their work to their classmates, instructors, and sometimes a panel of users or external experts for feedback and commentary. This practice gains formative feedback from multiple perspectives on a student’s project to ultimately strengthen both the project and the student’s communication and technical skills as engineers.