Amy Ko named ACM Distinguished Member

March 18, 2024

Congratulations to CREATE faculty Amy J. Ko, who has been recognized as a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for her work on human-centered theories of program understanding and the development of tools and learning technologies. 

Amy J. Ko, a 40-something white/Asian woman with brown hair and black rimmed eyeglasses.

“I’m honored to be recognized by my nominators, all of whom have been role models and mentors in my career,” said Ko, a professor in the iSchool. “It makes me want to pay their giving and caring work forward to more junior scholars across my community.” 

Ko has made substantial contributions to researching computing education, human-computer interaction, and humanity’s struggle to understand computing and harness it for creativity, equity and justice. She is one of the editors of the newly released, open source book, Teaching Accessible Computing and has released a beta version of Wordplay, an educational programming language created particularly for adolescents with disabilities and those who are not English fluent, who have so often been left behind in learning about computing. (She invites undergraduates interested in making programming languages more playful, global, and accessible to join Wordplaypen, a community that helps design, build, and maintain Wordplay.)

The ACM is the world’s largest computing society. It recognizes up to 10 percent of its worldwide membership as distinguished members based on their professional experience, groundbreaking achievements, and longstanding participation in computing. The ACM has three tiers of recognition: fellows, distinguished members and senior members.


This article has been excerpted from an iSchool article.

Zhang is CREATE’s Newest Apple AIML fellow

March 18, 2024

Congratulations to Zhuohao (Jerry) Zhang – the most recent CREATE Ph.D. student to receive an Apple Scholars in AIML PhD fellowship. The prestigious award supports students through funding, internship opportunities, and mentorship with an Apple researcher. 

Zhang is a 3rd-year iSchool Ph.D. student advised by Prof. Jacob. O Wobbrock. His research focuses on using human-AI interactions to address real-world accessibility problems. He is particularly interested in designing and evaluating intelligent assistive technologies to make creativity tasks accessible.

Zhuohao (Jerry) Zhang standing in front of a poster, wearing a black sweater and a pair of black glasses, smiling.

Zhang joins previous CREATE-advised Apple AIML fellows:

Venkatesh Potluri (Apple AIML Ph.D. fellow 2022), advised by CREATE Director Jennifer Mankoff in the Allen School. His research makes overlooked software engineering spaces such as IOT and user interface development accessible to developers who are blind or visually impaired. His work systematically understands the accessibility gaps in these spaces and addresses them by enhancing widely used programming tools.

Venkatesh Potluri leans toward the camera smiling with eyes cast downward

Rachel Franz (Apple AIML Ph.D. fellow 2021) is also advised by Wobbrock in the iSchool. Her research focuses on accessible technology design and evaluation for users with functional impairments and low digital literacy. Specifically, she is focused on using AI to make virtual reality more accessible to individuals with mobility limitations.

Rachel Franz, a woman with long blond hair and light skin, photographed in front of a rock wall.

Anat Caspi receives Human Rights Educator Award

Congratulations to Anat Caspi on receiving the 2023 Human Rights Education Award from the Seattle Human Rights Commission!

Caspi, a CREATE associate director and the founder and director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology, thanked the commission for recognition of her individual dedication and emphasized that it also celebrates the collective efforts of the Taskar Center community.

You can watch as Olivia Quesada accepts the award on Caspi’s behalf at the ceremony.

Olivia Quesada stands at a podium to accept the 2023 Human Rights Educator Award for Anat Caspi whose photo is shown on a large screen in the background.

CREATE Open Source Projects Awarded at Web4All

July 6, 2023

CREATE researchers shone this spring at the 2023 Web4All 2023 conference that, in part, seeks to “make the internet more accessible to the more than one billion people who struggle to interact with digital content each day due to neurodivergence, disability or other impairments.” Two CREATE-funded open source projects won accolades.

Best Technical Paper award:
Understanding and Improving Drilled-Down Information Extraction from Online Data Visualizations for Screen-Reader Users

Authors: Ather Sharif, Andrew Mingwei Zhang, CREATE faculty member Katharina Reinecke, and CREATE Associate Director Jacob O. Wobbrock

Built on prior research to develop taxonomies of information sought by screen-reader users to interact with online data visualizations, the team’s research used these taxonomies to extend the functionality of VoxLens—an open-source multi-modal system that improves the accessibility of data visualizations—by supporting drilled-down information extraction. They assessed the performance of their VoxLens enhancements through task-based user studies with 10 screen-reader and 10 non-screen-reader users. Their enhancements “closed the gap” between the two groups by enabling screen-reader users to extract information with approximately the same accuracy as non-screen-reader users, reducing interaction time by 22% in the process.

Accessibility Challenge Delegates’ Award:
UnlockedMaps: A Web-Based Map for Visualizing the Real-Time Accessibility of Urban Rail Transit Stations

Authors: Ather Sharif, Aneesha Ramesh, Qianqian Yu, Trung-Anh H. Nguyen, and Xuhai Xu

Ather Sharif’s work on another project, UnlockedMaps, was honored with the Accessibility Challenge Delegates’ Award. The paper details a web-based map that allows users to see in real time how accessible rail transit stations are in six North American cities, including Seattle, Toronto, New York and the Bay Area. UnlockedMaps shows whether stations are accessible and if they are currently experiencing elevator outages. Their work includes a public website that enables users to make informed decisions regarding their commute and an open source API that can be used by developers, disability advocates, and policy makers for a variety of purposes, including shedding light on the frequency of elevator outages and their repair times to identify the disparities between neighborhoods in a given city.

Read more

CREATE Ph.D. Student Emma McDonnell Wins Dennis Lang Award

June 6, 2023

Congratulations to Emma McDonnell on receiving a Dennis Lang Award from the UW Disability Studies program! McDonnell, a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Human Centered Design & Engineering, is advised by CREATE associate director Leah Findlater.

Emma McDonnell, a white woman in her 20s with short red hair, freckles, and a warm smile. in the background: a lush landscape and the Colosseum.

McDonnell’s research focuses on accessible communication technologies and explores how these tools could be designed to engage non-disabled people in making their communication approaches more accessible. She has studied how real-time captioning is used during videoconferencing and her current work is exploring how people caption their TikTok videos. 

The Dennis Lang Award recognizes undergraduate or graduate students across the UW who demonstrate academic excellence in disability studies and a commitment to social justice issues as they relate to people with disabilities.

This article is excerpted from Human Centered Design & Engineering news.

UW and CREATE extended family shine in SIGCHI Awards

We’re so proud to have learned from and collaborated with these shining stars! UW and CREATE faculty and our extended family are prominent in the recently announced 2023 SIGCHI Awards. All three winners of the SIGCHI dissertation award, which recognizes “the most outstanding research contributions from recently graduated Ph.D. students within the HCI community” are associated with the UW, CREATE, and/or our campus partner, UW DUB (Design. Use. Build). 

Congratulations to all!

Screenshot from SIGCHI '23 awards page labeled "Outstanding Dissertation" with photos of Megan Hofmann, Dhruv Jain, and Kai Lukoff.

Dhruv Jain, ‘22 Ph.D. UW Computer Science & Engineering

Jain’s dissertation was honored for “advancing the design and evaluation of interactive systems to improve sound awareness for people who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH). This research, drawing on his own experience as a person who is hard of hearing, has two goals: first, to better understand how DHH people feel about technology-mediated sound awareness and how these feelings manifest across contexts; and second, to design, build, and study new technical solutions for sound using iterative, human-centered design.” Jain is now an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Kai Lukoff, ‘22 Ph.D., UW Human Centered Design & Engineering

Lukoff’s dissertation Designing to Support Sense of Agency for Time Spent on Digital Interfaces addresses the problem that mobile devices are omnipresent in many people’s lives, and yet many people are dissatisfied with how much and when they use them. They adopt various devices and apps for their promise to connect with others, to accomplish tasks, and to be entertained, but may then find that their use–or others’ use–of those very same apps and devices gets in the way of connection, productivity, and meaningful entertainment. Lukoff is now an assistant professor in computer science and engineering at Santa Clara University, where he directs the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Read more about Lukoff’s research on HCDE.

Megan Hofmann, ‘22 Ph.D. Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie Mellon

  • CREATE and UW DUB alum

SIGCHI recognizes Hofmann’s research on “Optimizing Medical Making” for taking “a strong interdisciplinary approach, both with improved understanding of an important domain, and substantive technical contributions, using methodologies ranging from systems and programming language contributions, to ethnographic methods. This has allowed the work to make contributions in multiple areas such as accessibility, software tools, and digital fabrication.” Hofmann was advised by CREATE co-director Jennifer Mankoff at Carnegie Mellon University. Hofmann is currently an assistant professor of computer science and mechanical engineering at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University.


Screenshot from SIGCHI '23 awards page labeled "Societal Impact" with photo of Nicola Dell.

Nicola Dell, ’15 Ph.D. UW Computer Science and Engineering

Dell received a Societal Impact Award, cited for exemplary work that represents an unusually ‘full stack’ model of intervention and social impact. “She has been the driving force in putting tech-related Intimate Partner Violence abuses on the radar of companies, government, and HCI as a field; has offered direct and meaningful support to survivors; and has produced real-world changes that have begun to combat this pervasive and insidious problem.” Dell is currently an associate professor of information and computer science at Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute.

CREATE Co-director Jennifer Mankoff received the Social Impact Award in 2022.


Screenshot from SIGCHI '23 awards page labeled "Lifetime Research" with photo of Gregory Abowd.

Gregory Abowd, ’91 Ph.D. Computation, University of Oxford, UK

  • Mentor and advisor to some of the most influential leaders in accessibility, usability, and HCI at the UW and beyond.

And we’re appreciating the influence of Lifetime Research Award recipient Gregory Abowd, ’91 Ph.D. Computation, University of Oxford, UK. A leader in disability research with a focus specifically on autism, Abowd has mentored or advised CREATE co-director Jennifer Mankoff and many CREATE members and DUB faculty, including Anind Dey (Dean of the UW iSchool), Julie Kientz (Chair of UW HCDE), and Shwetak Patel (professor in UW CSE and ECE). SIGCHI described Abowd as, “A world leader in the invention and application of ubiquitous computing technologies, his work has defined the field over the past three decades, and his intellectual contributions have shaped two major themes in ubiquitous computing: context-aware computing and automated capture and access of live experiences. He has shown how a variety of application areas—the classroom, the home, autism, and health care—benefit from innovations in mobile and ubiquitous technologies.

Jacob O. Wobbrock awarded Ten-Year Technical Impact Award

January 5, 2023

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has honored CREATE Co-Director Jacob O. Wobbrock and colleagues with a 10-year lasting impact award for their groundbreaking work improving how computers recognize stroke gestures.

Jacob O. Wobbrock, a 40-something white man with short hair, a beard, and glasses. He is smiling in front of a white board.

Wobbrock, a professor in the Information School, and co-authors Radu-Daniel Vatavu and Lisa Anthony were presented with the 2022 Ten Year Technical Impact Award in November at the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI). The award honors their 2012 paper titled Gestures as point clouds: A $P recognizer for user interface prototypeswhich also won ICMI’s Outstanding Paper Award when it was published.

The $P point-cloud gesture recognizer was a key advancement in the way computers recognize stroke gestures, such as swipes, shapes, or drawings on a touchscreen. It provided a new way to quickly and accurately recognize what users’ fingers or styluses were telling their devices to do, and even could be used with whole-hand gestures to accomplish more complex tasks such as typing in the air or controlling a drone with finger movements.

The research built on Wobbrock’s 2007 invention of the $1 unistroke recognizer, which made it much easier for devices to recognize single-stroke gestures, such as a circle or a triangle. Wobbrock called it “$1” — 100 pennies — because it required only 100 lines of code, making it easy for user interface developers to incorporate gestures in their prototypes.

This article was excerpted from the UW iSchool article, iSchool’s Wobbrock Honored for Lasting Impact by Doug Parry

Rory Cooper, CREATE Advisory Board member, receives IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award

Congratulations to CREATE Advisory Board member Rory Cooper on receiving the 2022 IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award!

For more than 25 years, Cooper has been developing technology to improve the lives of people with disabilities and his inventions have helped countless wheelchair users get around with more ease and comfort. 

Rory A. Cooper, a white man with salt-and-pepper hair, dressed in a suit and tie.

Cooper’s first innovations in mobility were a modification to the back brace he wore after a spinal cord injury left him paralyzed from the waist down, then a better wheelchair, then an electric-powered version that helped its user stand up. After earning his Ph.D. in electrical & computer engineering with a concentration in bioengineering at University of California at Santa Barbara, he focused his career on developing assistive technology.

Cooper (second from the left) and his colleagues—David Constantine, Jorge Candiotti, and Andrin Vuthaj (standing)—at the University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories working on the MEBot. Photo: ABIGAIL ALBRIGHT

Since 2013, Cooper and his team at the University of Pittsburgh’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories have been working to develop advancements including a wheelchair that can travel on rough terrain. 

The most common cause of emergency-room visits by wheelchair users is falling from the chair or tipping over. “This often happens when the individual’s wheelchair hits thresholds in doorways, drives off small curbs, or transitions from a sidewalk to a ramp,” Cooper said.

The team hopes that the Mobility Enhancement Robotic Wheelchair, known as the MEBot, can minimize such injuries.

The MEBot, can climb curbs up to 20 centimeters high and can self-level as it drives over uneven terrain. It does so thanks to six wheels that move up and down plus two sets of smaller omnidirectional wheels in the front and back. The wheelchair’s larger, powered wheels can reposition themselves to simulate front-, mid-, or rear-wheel drive.


This article is excerpted from the IEEE Spectrum’s award announcement.

CREATE Leadership at ASSETS’22 Conference

ASSETS 2022 logo, composed of a PCB-style Parthenon outline with three people standing and communicating with each other in the Parthenon, representing three main iconic disabilities: blind, mobility impaired, deaf and hard of hearing.

CREATE Associate Director Jon Froehlich was the General Chair for ASSETS’22, the premier ACM conference for research on the design, evaluation, use, and education related to computing for people with disabilities and older adults. This year, over 300 participants from 37 countries engaged with state-of-the-art research in the design and evaluation of technology for people with disabilities. UW CREATE was a proud sponsor of ASSETS’22.

Keynote speaker Haben Girma is the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School and a leading human rights advocate in disability. Girma highlighted systemic ableism in education, employment, and tech and opportunities for change in her speech.

“There is a myth that non-disabled people are independent and disabled people are dependent. We are all interdependent. Many of you like drinking coffee; very few of you grow your own beans,” she pointed out.

ASSETS’22 was held in Athens, Greece. “The birthplace of democracy, we were surrounded by so many beautiful antiquities that highlighted the progress and innovation of humanity and served as inspiration to our community,” said Froehlich.

“Perhaps my favorite experience was the accessible private tours of the Acropolis Museum with conference attendees—hearing of legends, seeing the artistic craft, and moving about a state-of-the-art event center all in the shadow of the looming Acropolis was an experience I’ll never forget,” he added.

Artifact awards

CREATE Ph.D. student Venkatesh Potluri, advised by CREATE Co-Director Jennifer Mankoff in the Make4All Group, and his team tied for 1st place for the Artifact Award. Potluri presented their work on CodeWalk, Facilitating Shared Awareness in Mixed-Ability Collaborative Software Development.

Third place went to Ather Sharif‘s team, advised by Jacob Wobbrock, UnlockedMaps: Visualizing Real-Time Accessibility of Urban Rail Transit Using a Web-Based Map.

Future of urban accessibility

As part of the conference, Froehlich, Heather Feldner, and Anat Caspi held a virtual workshop entitled the “Future of Urban Accessibility” More here: https://accessiblecities.github.io/UrbanAccess2022/

Jen Mankoff receives SIGCHI Social Impact Award

Jennifer Mankoff, a white, Jewish woman with an invisible disability. She is smiling broadly and standing casually in the Allen Center atrium

Congratulations to CREATE Co-Director Jennifer Mankoff! She has been awarded a 2022 Social Impact Award by SIGCHI, the special interest group of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for professionals, academics and students interested in human-technology and human-computer interaction (HCI).

Mankoff was cited for research focused on accessibility to give people the voice, tools and agency to advocate for themselves. “She strives to make change at both structural and individual levels. For example, her recent work on fabrication of accessible technologies considers not only innovative tools that can enable individual makers, but also the larger clinical and sociological challenges to disseminating and sharing designs.”

SIGCHI also noted Mankoff’s work at the intersection of mental health and discrimination that uses sensed data and self-reports to explore how external risks and pressures interact with people’s responses to challenging moments such as discrimination experiences, or classroom access. In addition, she has conducted leading work supporting environmental sustainability and topics relevant to gender and race.

Within SIGCHI, Mankoff spent many years working with, and at times leading, AccessSIGCHI, an independent organization that advocates for improved inclusion of people with disabilities within the SIGCHI community. This work has directly impacted the inclusiveness of numerous SIGCHI conferences and led to the creation of an Adjunct Chair for Accessibility on the SIGCHI Executive Committee, institutionalizing accessibility as an important facet of SIGCHI activities.

This article was excerpted and adapted from SIGCHI Awards 2022.

Feldner and Harniss receive research poster award for work on allyship training in rehabilitation education

CREATE Associate Director Heather Feldner and co-authors, including CREATE affiliate faculty Mark Harniss, received a blue ribbon award as one of the top 3 posters for Social Responsibility at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections meeting.

Selected by the Health Policy & Administration Section Global Health Special Interest Group of the APTA, the team was cited for their work to amplify the voices and experiences of students, staff, and faculty who identify as disabled/with a disability across UW campuses. These experiences are the foundation for developing a disability allyship training curriculum for health professions education and beyond.

The team behind the paper and poster, “Diversity and Equity Includes Disability: Developing a Disability Allyship Training Curriculum for Rehabilitation Education” is: Heather A. Feldner, Katherine Chamblin, Lesley M. Ellis, Heather D. Evans, Mark Harniss, Danbi Lee, and Joanne Woiak.

Headshot of Heather Feldner, smiling brightly. She is a white woman with short brown and grey hair, and wears dark rimmed glasses, a gray shirt and black sweater.
Mark Harniss a white man in his 50s with short brown hair and blue eyes wearing a dark polo shirt in front of fall-colored leaves.

The initial work was funded by a UW CLIME small grant, and several team members will be continuing the next phases of this work with new grant funding received in January from the UW Royalty Research Fund.

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 disabilities in computer science and related fields. His work has included development of numerous tools to perform specific tasks, including translating textbook figures into formats accessible to persons with disabilities, and enabling people to communicate via cell phones using American Sign Language.

In addition to the AAAS fellowship, Ladner has been honored as a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, an Association for Computing Machinery Fellow and an IEEE Fellow.

Excerpted from the UW News article. See the AAAS announcement.

Faculty and Alumni win awards at ASSETS 2021

Congrats to the many accessibility leaders from CREATE and UW who won awards at ASSETS 2021.

Co-authored by Jennifer Mankoff (a founding co-director of CREATE), Gillian R. Hayes and Devva Kasnitz in 2010, the paper, Disability studies as a source of critical inquiry for the field of assistive technology, has been awarded the 2021 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award at the virtual 2021 ASSETS Conference. This award is given to a “significant innovation or contribution to knowledge that has proved influential” over at least a decade. The paper was cited for groundbreaking and influential work on bridging the gap between the assistive technology research field and the field of disability studies.

The Best Paper Award went to Qisheng Li, Josephine Lee, Christina Zhang and CREATE faculty member Katharina Reinecke for How Online Tests contribute to support systems for people with cognitive and mental disabilities.

The Best Artifact Award went to a UW team Lucy Wang, Isabel Cachola, Jonathan Bragg, Evie Cheng, Chelsea Haupt, Matt Lazke, Bailey Kuehl, Madeleine van Zuylen, Linda Wagner and Daniel Weld for making academic papers accessible through scia11y.

A runner up for Best Artifact Award was Sidewalk Gallery, by Michael Duan, Aroosh Kumar, Mikey Saugstad, Aileen Zeng, Ilia Savin and CREATE Associate Director Jon E. Froehlich. Sidewalk Gallery is an interactive, filterable gallery of over 600,000 crowdsourced sidewalk accessibility images across seven cities in two countries (US and Mexico). It includes five primary accessibility problem types, 35 tag categories, and a 5-point severity scale.

Best paper nominations also went to students Kelly Mack; Venkatesh Potluri; Dhruv Jain; and Erin Beneteau for their paper Mixed abilities and varied experiences: a group auto-ethnography of a virtual summer internship and Kelly Mack for her paper Designing Tools for High-Quality Alt Text Authoring.

Finally, the Best Student Paper Award went to a team including CREATE Alumnus Cynthia Bennett and UW Alumnus Jeffrey P. Bigham for their work on Aided Nonverbal Communication through Physical Expressive Objects

Congrats to all!


Previous ASSETS paper awards for CREATE faculty

CREATE faculty also had many successes at ASSETS 2020 and ASSETS 2019 including:

Best student paper (2020):  
Living Disability Theory: Reflections on Access, Research, and Design
Megan Hofmann, Devva Kasnitz, Jennifer Mankoff, Cynthia L Bennett

Best paper (2020):
Input Accessibility: A Large Dataset and Summary Analysis of Age, Motor Ability and Input Performance 
Leah Findlater, Lotus Zhang

Best Artifact (2020):

SoundWatch
Dhruv Jain, Hung Ngo, Pratyush Patel, Steven Goodman, Leah Findlater, Jon Froehlich

Paper Impact Award (2019):
Slide rule: making mobile touch screens accessible to blind people using multi-touch interaction techniques
Jacob Wobbrock

Jon Froehlich named Outstanding Faculty Member by the UW College of Engineering

Congrats to CREATE Associate Director Jon Froehlich on being selected for the Outstanding Faculty Award by the UW College of Engineering!

As noted by the College, Froehlich went to extraordinary measures to support his students’ learning during the pandemic. He fundamentally transformed physical computing courses for virtual platforms, assembled and mailed hardware kits to students’ homes, and developed interactive hardware diagrams, tutorials and videos. In addition, Froehlich co-created and led a group of university educators to share best practices for remote teaching of computing lab courses.

Jon Froehlich, CREATE Associate Director and Allen School faculty member

As chair for the conference ASSETS’22, Froehlich has helped ensure the conference is accessible to not only those with physical or sensory disabilities, but for those with chronic illnesses, caretaking responsibilities, or other commitments that prevent physical travel.

In response to the award, Froehlich noted, “I quite literally could not have done this without [CREATE Founding Co-Directors] Jake and Jen’s mentorship and support.”

This article was excerpted from the UW College of Engineering’s CoE Awards announcement.

Richard Ladner Receives 2020 Public Service Award from National Science Board

National Science Board | August 11, 2020

Richard Ladner, Founder of AccessComputing and Allen School faculty member

Dr. Richard Ladner, CREATE’s Director for Education, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Public Service Award for an individual from the National Science Board (NSB). In recognizing Ladner, the board cited his exemplary science communication, diversity advocacy, and well-earned reputation as the “conscience of computing.”

“When we think about diversity, we must include disability as part of that. The conversation about diversity should always include disability.”

Richard Ladner, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

From his foundational experiences as a graduate student teaching hands-on mathematics in his community to co-founding AccessComputing, Dr. Ladner has spent his career educating and changing the conversation on diversity. In recognizing Ladner, the National Science Board (NSB) cited his exemplary science communication, diversity advocacy, and well-earned reputation as the “conscience of computing.”

“When we think about diversity, we must include disability as part of that. The conversation about diversity should always include disability,” said Ladner.

As a faculty member, now Professor Emeritus, in the University of Washington’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, he has mentored 136 students, including 30 Ph.D. students. “I visited Richard’s lab at the University of Washington just over 10 years ago. While I did get to see Richard, he was most interested in my meeting his Ph.D. students — and I could see why,” recalled Vicki Hanson, CEO of the Association for Computing Machinery. “Richard had provided an atmosphere in which his talented students could thrive. They were extremely bright, enthusiastic, and all involved in accessibility research. I spent the day talking with his students and learning about their innovative work.”

Ladner has participated in, or organized, numerous computer science workshops for high school students with disabilities. Currently, he and his colleagues are developing accessible curricula and training teachers to help more students with disabilities participate in AP Computer Science Principles courses. Their curricula train teachers of blind and visually impaired students, teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students, and teachers of learning-disabled students.

In accepting congratulations for the reward, Ladner wrote to his peers, “I am very pleased and honored to receive this Public Service Award from the National Science Board. I’m very fortunate to be in a school where we support each other in our research, teaching, and service, including public service.”

Read more

This article includes excerpts from the NSB press release and the Allen School announcement.

UW Disability Studies, D Center win UW Medicine CLIME Grant

UW faculty and staff affiliated with CREATEUW Disability Studies and the UW D Center have received a grant from the Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME) to explore what it means to be an ally to people with disabilities. “This is an integral issue informing professional education in the medical fields as well as in design and engineering, says PI Heather Feldner. “I am most excited that this project has the potential to further the conversation about how an inclusive mindset can shape contemporary health professions education and practice. Accessibility and technology will be a big part of these conversations and the subsequent training material development. To be able to approach this project with the multidisciplinary perspectives of the CREATE team as a resource is a huge asset.”

Four CREATE faculty receive Google Research Awards

UW News | March 16, 2020

Four UW CREATE faculty have been named recipients of Google Faculty Research Awards. The grants, among 150 Google recently announced, support world-class technical research in computer science, engineering and related fields. Each award provides funding to support one graduate student for a year.

The recipients are Jennifer MankoffJames Fogarty and Jon Froelich of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and Leah Findlater of the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering.

The goal of the awards is “to identify and strengthen long-term collaborative relationships with faculty working on problems that will impact how future generations use technology,” according to Google.

ASSETS Paper Impact Award

Jacob Wobbrock honored for improving touch-screen accessibility

Congratulations to Jacob O. Wobbrock, a founding co-director of CREATE, for his work with Shaun Kane, PhD ’11 and Jeffrey Bigham, PhD ’09 improving the accessibility of mobile technology.

The team received the 2019 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award for their 2008 paper, “Slide Rule: Making mobile touch screens accessible to blind people using multi-touch techniques.” The award is given biennially by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing and recognizes a paper published at least a decade earlier that made a significant innovation that has been influential in the field.

Slide Rule addressed the challenge of navigating within a screen when mobile phones transitioned from physical buttons to touch screens. Their methods represented the first screen reader for touch screens, using simple gestures for navigation and tapping targets. These features have since become mainstream in commercial products.

Given the prevalence of touch screens in our society, the need to make them accessible to all people is still great, and we will continue to pursue that goal, along with the many other projects we are doing.

Jacob O. Wobbrock

As technology continues to advance, Wobbrock’s team continues to identify innovative methods for interaction that improve accessibility. Read more about the award and his recent research.