Eight years ago, CREATE Co-Director Jennifer Mankoff and a group of like-minded researchers who cared about, or needed, accessibility put their heads together after coming to a realization about SIGCHI, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction. While a growing swath of researchers in the community had begun to focus on the design and evaluation of technologies for diverse users, including those with disabilities, Mankoff and her colleagues noted that the venues for showcasing that work — including the group’s flagship annual conference, CHI — were not themselves accessible to many of these same audiences. And thus, AccessSIGCHI was born.

“Around the time we launched, nearly one-tenth of the papers presented at CHI were related to accessibility or disability in some way, yet only about 20% of conferences included accessibility support,” recalled Mankoff, who holds the Richard E. Ladner Professorship in the Allen School where she directs the Make4All Group. “I and Jennifer Rode, who founded AccessSIGCHI, asked ourselves, ‘how can we ensure that our community’s publications and events and procedures make accessibility a priority?’ It’s a necessary conversation, if not always a comfortable one. And it’s ongoing.”

Read more:

  • Full article, published by the Allen School.
  • Mankoff and colleagues’ seminal report documenting the state of accessibility within the SIGCHI community and laying out a vision for the future.
  • Recognition of Mankoff’s efforts to make not only technologies but also the community that creates them more accessible to members with diverse needs and experiences through a 2022 SIGCHI Social Impact Award.

This article was excerpted from A necessary conversation: Social Impact Award winner Jennifer Mankoff inspires the SIGCHI community to take a more expansive view of inclusion, published by the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

More advocacy news from CREATE

  • Your Review & Comments Wanted: Proposed Federal Accessibility Standards

    August 11, 2023 A proposal for new digital accessibility guidelines for entities receiving federal funds was released for review by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on August 4, 2023.  Anyone affected by these guidelines has 60 days — through Tuesday, October 3, 2023 — to comment. The DOJ is still trying to decide exactly…

    Read more

  • Honoring Judy Heumann's outsized impact

    Judy Heumann — disability activist and leader, presidential advisor to two administrations, polio survivor and quadriplegic — passed away on Saturday, March 4. Heumann's family invited the community to honor her life at a memorial service and burial that is now available on video with ASL, captioning, and English interpretation of Yiddish included. Who was Judy Heumann?…

    Read more

  • CREATE Contributes to RFP on Healthcare Accessibility

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) requested public comment about comprehensive, longitudinal, person-centered care planning for people with Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC). CREATE contributed to a disability justice-focused response that highlights nine recommendations: Account for medical trauma. Meet basic standards for accessibility. Value individual and community knowledge about MCC. Treat accessibility as a…

    Read more

  • Increasing Data Equity Through Accessibility

    Data equity can level the playing field for people with disabilities both in opening new employment opportunities and through access to information, while data inequity may amplify disability by disenfranchising people with disabilities. In response to the U.S. Science and Technology Policy Office's request for information (RFI) better supporting intra- and extra-governmental collaboration around the…

    Read more

  • Richard Ladner named AAAS Fellow

    Congratulations to CREATE Director for Education Richard Ladner on being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)! He is among 564 new fellows from around the world elected in 2021 for distinguished achievements in science and engineering. Ladner was recognized for his advocacy and inclusion efforts for people with…

    Read more