CREATE is the Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences

Accessible solutions required

In this era of rapidly changing technology, the need to ensure accessibility and equity for people with disabilities is urgent. Full participation in society is often dependent on the successful use of technology, and this requires accessible solutions. A long-held tenet of accessibility work is that separate solutions are unequal solutions.

To create true equity, we must build individual and collective solutions that can adapt, create, and transform interactive systems to improve access to technology and to the world at large. Incremental progress must be replaced by transformational approaches. This future will be catalyzed by multidisciplinary collaborations including mechanical engineering, new interaction paradigms, rehabilitation technology, critical academic inquiry, and foregrounding the lived experience of disability through inclusion and participatory design. By supporting larger, more ambitious projects while emphasizing translation and representation, we can create the momentum to move from incremental solutions to inclusion of people with all abilities.

In doing this work, we commit to translation of research results into real world impact and increasing representation. These core values infuse our center’s research, but also require meaningful partnerships and programs to support students and educators/researchers with disabilities in succeeding at UW and more broadly.

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Leveraging industrial, disability community, and academic partners of CREATE, we are building upon our prior successes and create sustainable models for translation. Our collaborations with community, campus, and industry partners ensure diverse voices inform our innovations. Anat Caspi, our inaugural Director for Translation, coordinates our translation efforts.

Learn About Our Translation Efforts

Representation in education and beyond

We also aim to develop a workforce that understands and cares about accessibility, and that is prepared to help fill a growing need for this expertise in industry. To do this, we are leveraging our connections with educationally focused organizations including DO-IT, AccessComputing and TeachAccess to develop not only new courses that teach accessibility, but also to create pathways for more individuals with disabilities to pursue careers in technology innovation. We strive to be inclusive at all levels of our work, increasing capacity and representation and achieving a critical mass in the participation of individuals with disabilities among center researchers.  

CREATE’s policy efforts have directly impacted federal rulemaking including citing a CREATE article about work on mobile app accessibility in the recently released Department of Justice Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the ADA’s application to digital technology and resources, “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities.” CREATE developed a reviewer’s guide to encourage comment submissions.

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Committed to interdisciplinary work

Composite image of CREATE founding faculty

We know that diverse perspectives are critical to solving complex problems.  CREATE faculty include a rare combination of perspectives from across campus: Human Centered Design and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, the Allen School, The Information School, Rehabilitation Technology and Disability Studies.

Want to get involved?

There are multiple ways to support our efforts. First and foremost, CREATE is about people. As an individual, we encourage you to get involved and help us achieve our mission. Doing so is as easy as subscribing to one of our email lists.

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Second, the center employs a consortium model for academic, industry, and community partners. We aim to create the technology and innovation models that support our partners to be leaders and trendsetters in the deployment of accessible technology and inclusive communities. Our goal is to deeply engage with our partners to develop and share transformation technology, as well as a workforce that can help improve the accessibility of technology. Join our partnership program!

Partner with CREATE

CREATE was founded in the summer of 2019 when a group of accessibility researchers from around campus came together to discuss common interests. Inaugural gift funding was provided thanks to the generosity of Microsoft. With the diversity of interests and common goals represented around the table, it became clear that a broader organizing body would help to amplify what each individual was doing. 

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