BPC-A AccessComputing Alliance

February 15th, 2006 - April 30th, 2010 | PROJECT

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering and DO-IT IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) at the University of Washington propose to create the AccessComputing Alliance for the purpose of increasing the participation of people with disabilities in computing careers. Alliance partners Gallaudet University, Microsoft, the NSF Regional Alliances for Persons with Disabilities in STEM (hosted by the University of Southern Maine, New Mexico State University, and UW), and SIGACCESS of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and collaborators represent stakeholders from education, industry, government, and professional organizations nationwide.

Alliance activities apply proven practices to support persons with disabilities within computing programs. To increase the number of students with disabilities who successfully pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees, the alliance will run college transition and bridge, tutoring, internship, and e-mentoring programs. To increase the capacity of postsecondary computing departments to fully include students with disabilities in coursers and programs, the alliance will form communities of practice, run capacity-building institutes, and develop systemic change indicators for computing departments. To create a nationwide resource to help students with disabilities pursue computing careers and computing educators and employers, professional organizations and other stakeholders to develop more inclusive programs and share effective practices, the alliance will create and maintain a searchable AccessComputing Knowledge Base of FAQs, case studies, and effective/promising practices.

These activities will build on existing alliances and resources in a comprehensive, integrated effort. They will create nationwide collaborations among individuals with disabilities, computing professionals, employers, disability providers, and professional organizations to explore the issues that contribute to the underrepresentation of persons with disabilities and to develop, apply and assess interventions. In addition, they will support local and regional efforts to recruit and retain students with disabilities into computing and assist them in institutionalizing and replicating their programs. The alliance will work with other Alliances and organizations that serve women and underrepresented minorities to make their programs accessible to students with disabilities. Finally they will collect and publish research and implementation data to enhance scientific and technological understanding of issues related to the inclusion of people with disabilities in computing.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Richard Ladner, Principal Investigator, University of Washington
Libby Cohen, Co-Principal Investigator
Sheryl Burgstahler, Co-Principal Investigator
William McCarthy, Former Co-Principal Investigator


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: Broadening Participation in Computing
Award Number: 0540615
Funding Amount: $2,111,892


Access and Inclusion: People with Disabilities
Audience: Administration | Leadership | Policymakers | Educators | Teachers | General Public | Scientists
Discipline: Computing and information science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Higher Education Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Resource Centers and Networks | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media