UW News

July 25, 2006

National workshop puts blind students, professionals on path to success

WHO: Forty blind students, academics and professionals from around the country

WHAT: Technology Fair and tactile art experience, part of the first Vertical Mentoring Workshop for the Blind in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

WHEN: Friday, July 28. The fair will be from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The tactile art session will be from 10-11 a.m.

WHERE: The University of Washington, Seattle campus. The fair will be in the Microsoft Atrium in the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering. The art session will be at the Henry Art Gallery

DETAILS: Forty people from around the country have gathered at the University of Washington this week for a workshop to discuss how to achieve success in science and engineering and how to use the newest access technology in their intellectual pursuits. The participants vary widely in age and experience – some are high school students, others hold doctoral degrees, many are somewhere in-between. But all have one common trait:

Each of the participants is blind.

The workshop is an opportunity for the blind to share and learn strategies to help them excel in a world that is attuned to those who can see, according to Richard Ladner, organizer of the event.

“The idea is to get people from each level together so the ones above can mentor the ones at the levels below,” said Ladner, professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering. “We’re told that this is the first time this sort of workshop has been done in this way.”

Workshop sessions will cover topics ranging from math accessibility to transitions from high school to college and from college to the workforce or graduate school. On Friday, workshop participants will take part in a technology fair, an opportunity for them to take assistive technologies for a trial run. A break-out group will also visit the Henry Art Gallery, where they will have a chance to experience sculptures by Maya Lin through touch.


For more information, contact Richard Ladner, (206) 543-9347 or (206) 543-1695. At the Henry, contact Betsey Brock, betsey@henryart.org or (206) 616-9625.