Gatzert Child Welfare Fellowship for Reham Abuatiq

June 13, 2024

Congratulations to CREATE Ph.D. student Reham Abuatiq, who has received the 2024 Gatzert Child Welfare Fellowship, which will fully fund her for one quarter for her dissertation writing phase! 

Advised by CREATE associate director Heather Feldner, Abuatiq’s dissertation work is exploring the Healthcare Transition of Middle Eastern Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their Families. Using both qualitative and participatory methods, her specific goals are to understand the current healthcare access and transition landscape from the perspectives of Middle Eastern young adults with disabilities and their caregivers, understand the relationships between healthcare access and transition and the quality of life for Middle Eastern young adults with disabilities, and to co-create culturally appropriate healthcare transition strategies and resources in the Arabic language.

Abuatiq is currently working with one of CREATE’s community partners, Open Doors for Multicultural Families (ODMF), which provides grassroots community-based services and supports for immigrants and refugees in the WA area living with disabilities. ODMF plans to host a photo exhibition in autumn 2024 featuring the photo narratives that the families participating in Reham’s study will have completed.

At CREATE’s 2022 research showcase, Abuatiq presented “He Took Off…Fast!”: A Visual Journey of Modified Ride-On Car Use by Children and Families.

CREATE AI+Accessibility Hackfest – Winter ’24

March 6, 2024 – post-event update

The event featured invited speakers Heather Nolis, Ian Stenseng, and Shaun Kane and exciting workshops on building custom GPT and creating accessible Jupyter notebooks. See the full lineup of brainstorming, hacking, and presentation sessions.

The 3-day hackfest attendees included those with no experience in coding or hacking, others with advanced experience in generative AI and building software or tools, and, at the center, attendees with lived experiences of disabilities who contributed their experiences and expertise to invent an accessible AI-enabled future.

Prizes awarded

While appreciation and congratulations go to all participants, these projects were awarded prizes:

First place:

Nishit Bhasin and Lakshya Garg is voice-activated assistance technology, powered by GPT-4 Vision, and designed to make e-commerce accessible to everyone. Users can navigate, select, and buy products using simple voice commands. 

Second prize: AI Posture Monitor & Intervention Alerts for Home Health

Max Smoot, Lige Yang, and Richard Li

AI Posture Monitor & Intervention Alerts for Home Health monitors someone’s seated position to identify when they are in an at-risk posture and subsequently alerts a caretaker with recommended corrections.

Third prize: Formflow Ai

Abdul Hussein, Abreham Tegenge, and Aelaph Elias reads PDFs, mail, and forms and gives an easy-to-read summarization, with the goal of helping people read and understand documents and forms. 

Fourth place: Clearview Assist

Dhruv Khanna, Ritika Rajpal, Minal Naik, and Menita Agarwal

ClearView Assist is a Chrome extension designed to assist internet users with low vision or blindness by simplifying cluttered web pages based on user tasks and allowing individuals to interact with digital content via voice commands to articulate their browsing objectives.

Fifth place: Student Success Portal

Mia Vong, Cameron Jacob Miller, Keyvyn Rogers, and Jerid Stevenot

Student Success Portal provides AI-powered assistance for challenges in supporting K-12 students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Sessions, workshops and hack time

  • Introductory session about the potential of AI for accessibility (also on Zoom)
  • Invited speaker Ian Stenseng, Director of Innovation & Accessibility at The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. (also on Zoom)
  • Brainstorming project ideas
    • Learn from community members with lived experiences of disabilities to make sure your hack is solving a real accessibility need.
  • Lunch (provided) and conversation, mentoring, team forming, idea hatching
  • Invited speaker Heather Nolis, Principal Machine Learning Engineer of the Digital AI Team and Chair of the Accessibility Community at T-Mobile (ACT) at T-Mobile (also on Zoom)
  • Optional Workshops and hack time
  • Hack time
  • Pizza dinner and opportunities to get feedback from mentors


  • Work time
  • Lunch (provided) and opportunity to present for feedback from mentors
  • Presentation of judging rubric
  • Invited speaker, Shaun Kane, Researcher at Google AI and Director of the Superhuman Computing Lab at University of Colorado Boulder (also on Zoom)
  • Hack time


  • Optional hack time
  • How to present accessibly & sample pitch presentation (also on Zoom)


  • Presentations to judges (also on Zoom)
  • Judges deliberation
  • Announcements, prizes, and closing keynote (also on Zoom)



Ian Stenseng, Director of Innovation & Accessibility, The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

Ian Stenseng is the Director of Innovation & Accessibility for The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

For the past twelve years, Ian has been a pivotal member of the Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., where he has used his expertise in technology and creativity to enhance accessibility. He has focused on making tools, equipment, technology, and the built environment more accessible for individuals who are blind, DeafBlind, or who have additional disabilities. Ian's commitment to this cause is deeply personal, stemming from his familial connection to blindness; his father, who was born prematurely, is legally blind due to retinopathy of prematurity.

Before his tenure at the Lighthouse, Ian's career was marked by significant achievements in the IT sector, particularly with the Washington Office of the Secretary of State. There, he spearheaded special projects for the WA State Archives, working on advanced systems for the imaging, preservation, and access of historical materials. He played a key role in modernizing recording studios, establishing the first accessible computer lab at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, and contributing to the design and rollout of the Washington State Domestic Partnership program.

Ian resides in South Seattle with his partner, Jaime, and their twelve-year-old son, Mason. Outside of his professional life, Ian is deeply passionate about craftsmanship and loves to tinker with all things mechanical, recently building a cedar tiny home trailer in his driveway, a large format laser engraver in his home studio, and dedicating his free time to crafting fine handmade goods from leather and wood.

Heather Nolis is a founding member of the AI @ T-Mobile team, who focused the conversion of cutting-edge analyses to real-time, scalable data-driven products. She began her career in neuroscience but once she realized how heavily that field relied on software built by other people and data analyzed by other people, she pivoted - deciding to make software herself. In addition to her role as Principal Machine Learning Engineer, she is also the chair of T-Mobile’s accessibility Employee Resource Group which has over 12,000 members.

Shaun Kane is a research scientist in Responsible AI and Human-Centered Technology at Google Research, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. His research focuses on understanding emerging accessibility problems and empowering people and organizations to solve these problems. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and the ACM SIGACCESS Paper Impact Award. He received his Ph.D. from The Information School at the University of Washington in 2011.


Though computational notebook platforms such as Jupyter are heavily used in many settings including classrooms, research, and storytelling, they are often not accessible to people with disabilities. This inaccessibility has the potential to exclude people with disabilities from educational, employment, and other information-seeking opportunities. Join us for a two-hour workshop to learn about the inaccessibility of notebooks and gain skills to author accessible notebooks. This workshop does not require or expect expertise in programming or accessibility to participate. All you need is a computer and the curiosity to understand what notebook accessibility is all about.

About the organizers

Tonyfast is a freelance developer, designer, and scientist with significant experience in open source and science software. They are a distinguished project jupyter contributor advocating for equity in computational literacy and digital accessibility in open science technologies.

Venkatesh Potluri is a graduating Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Washington. He investigates the inaccessibility of developer tools for blind and visually impaired developers  participating in professional programming domains like data science and user interface design. He builds real-world systems and demonstrates new ideas to improve the accessibility of widely used developer tools.

Welcome to "Intro to GAI, GPTs, and More!", an interactive workshop designed for beginners and enthusiasts eager to dive into the world of Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPTs). We will explore ways to build Generative AI (GAI) tools at a range of coding skill levels, ranging from no-code GPTs to a quick introduction of the OpenAI API. As the demand for AI and machine learning solutions continues to grow, the ability to leverage these technologies becomes increasingly valuable. This workshop aims to demystify GPT/GAI and make it approachable through a practical, no-code approach.

Exploring GPTs Without Coding: Learn about no-code platforms and tools that allow you to interact with GPT models. Discover how to use these tools for a variety of applications, including content generation, data analysis, and creative projects, without writing a single line of code.

Hands-On Demonstrations of OpenAI API: Follow along to an introductory lesson on how to get started with the OpenAI API.

About the organizer

Kate Glazko is a first year Ph.D. student at the University of Washington. Kate is passionate about AI and accessibility and learning about all the ways in which emerging forms of AI like GPT, Midjourney, and more can help or hinder access in areas such as employment, creativity, and making. Prior to UW, Kate spent 6 years in the tech industry working in roles such as android engineer, IoT engineer, and product manager.

Brainstorming ideas

Relevant topics will be driven by community needs to increase access to technology, and to the world through technology. These topics could include, for example:

  • AI’s use for generating plain language summaries of rights
  • Accessibility of AI tools and interfaces
  • Using AI to increase the accessibility of written and visual content
  • Robotic control for access
  • Tools for designing accessible physical objects
  • Using AI to get feedback on the accessibility of things you’re making
  • AI for embodied agent interactions
  • AI applications for health and wellbeing
  • Modalities for human/generative AI interactions such as voice or touch
  • Guidelines or ideas around agents that that may be used for accessibility
  • What disability simulation might look like in the age of AI agents
  • Best practices and pitfalls

Community Partner Spotlight: PAVE

November 8, 2023

CREATE is pleased to work with PAVE (Partnerships for Action | Voices for Empowerment) to help guide our efforts and shape solutions around the needs and limitations of accessible technology. They’ve supported our grant applications, shared opportunities for participation in CREATE research projects with their community, and published CREATE research on the importance of self-initiated mobility for children, particularly children with disabilities. 

PAVE logo, with the V in a light green color and stylized to look like a flower.

PAVE’s mission is to provide support, training, information, and resources to empower and give voice to individuals, youth, and families living with disabilities throughout Washington State.

“Without technology—accessible technology—PAVE would never be able to support those who rely on us for accurate information and resources.” says Barb Koumjian, Project Coordinator for Lifespan Respite WA at PAVE. This includes the highly accessible PAVE website, with links to parent training programs, family health resources, and support systems.

“All of us at PAVE are deeply committed to addressing the concerns of parents worried about their loved one in school, navigating medical supports, or caregiving for a family member. PAVE’s goal is to provide a seamless online experience, allowing everyone to find information quickly, get support, and hopefully get some peace of mind,” adds Communications Specialist Nicol Walsh. “PAVE’s goal is to provide a seamless online experience, allowing everyone to find information quickly and get support.”

PAVE supports accessibility via adaptive technology: “For the families I support at PAVE, there is an uprising of parents advocating for AAC, in any capacity, at an early age with an autism diagnosis,” says Shawnda Hicks, PAVE Coordinator. “Giving children communication in early learning stages reduces frustration and high behaviors.”

Connecting with PAVE

Cute, mixed race child during hearing exam wears special headphones.

Proud to be a UW CREATE Community Partner

“As a statewide organization, we’re deeply committed to accessibility and equity for everyone, and we value our collaborations with UW CREATE for all we serve in Washington,” says Tracy Kahlo, PAVE Executive Director. 

Thanks to these PAVE staff members for contributing words, data, and perspective: Barb Koumjian, Nicol Walsh, Shawnda Hicks, and Tracy Kahlo.

User-informed, robot-assisted social dining for people with motor impairments

June 1, 2023

A team of Allen School robotics researchers has published a paper on the finer aspects of robot-assisted dining with friends. “A meal should be memorable, and not for a potential faux pas from the machine,” notes co-author Patrícia Alves-Oliveira. Supported by a CREATE Student minigrant and in the spirit of “nothing about us without us,” they are working with the Tyler Schrenk Foundation to address the design of robot-assisted feeding systems that facilitate meaningful social dining experiences.

The team is led by Ph.D. student Amal Nanavati, postdoc Patrícia Alves-Oliveira and includes CREATE faculty member Maya Cakmak and community researcher Tyler Schrenk.

Teleconference screenshot of 4 people: Patrícia Alves-Oliveira (top left), Amal Nanavati (top right), Tyler Schrenk (bottom left), and an anonymous participant (bottom right)

Learn more:

Accessible eSports Showcase 2023: Event Recap

In April 2023, CREATE hosted its first ever Accessible eSports Showcase event, bringing together members of the CREATE community, local community organizations, tech and games Corporate Partners, and folks from all over the Seattle area looking to learn about and celebrate ongoing strides being made in making video games more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.

Zillow Commons in the Bill & Melinda Gates Center was transformed into a gamer’s playground with big-screen projections of racing and party games, a VR space, and stations where users could customize their own adaptive gaming tech.

UW CREATE Presents: Accessible eSports Showcase 2023 with a colorful digital background.

CREATE’s Community Partners had showcase tables, demoing the latest advances in accessible gaming technology. And UW graduate students, undergraduates, and postdocs highlighted the many creative ways they’ve worked to make games accessible:

  • Event co-organizers Jesse Martinez (Ph.D. student, CSE) and Momona Yamagami (Postdoc, UW CREATE) opened with an overview of the many accommodations and community access norms they established for the event.
  • Emma McDonnell (Ph.D. Student, HCDE) live-narrated a round of Jackbox Games’s Fibbage, followed by a competitive mixed-ability showdown in the Xbox racing game DiRT 5, in which Martinez, taking his turn as emcee/color commentator, highlighted the many techniques being used to make Xbox gameplay accessible.
  • Rachel Franz (Ph.D. Student, iSchool) let attendees try out her latest work in accessible VR research.
  • Jerry Cao (Ph.D. Student, CSE) showed attendees how to use custom 3D-printed input devices for computer accessibility.
  • A brilliant team of undergraduates from HuskyADAPT, including Mia Hoffman, Neha Arunkumar, Vivian Tu, Spencer Madrid, Simar Khanuja, Laura Oliveira, Selim Saridede, Noah Shalby, and Veronika Pon, demoed three fantastic projects working to bring improved switch access to video games.
Momona Yamagami and Jesse Martinez open the Accessible eSports Showcase in front of a large screen with a dedicated screen showing a sign language interpreter.

Corporate and Community Partners connected with the CREATE community and engage directly with our many attendees.

  • Solomon Romney, of Microsoft’s Inclusive Tech Lab, showcased the brilliant design of the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC), the state-of-the-art tool in accessible controller design, and guided attendees through setting up and playing with their own XACs.
  • Amber Preston of Seattle Adaptive Sports described the work SAS does to make all sorts of games and recreational activities more accessible and inclusive in the Seattle area.
  • Other corporate and community partners, including researchers from Meta, Google, and Apple, were on hand to meet and connect with attendees around other exciting developments in the accessible gaming space.
Three student members at the HuskyADAPT table, sharing information and video about the program.
The Seattle Adaptive Sports table, with the different size balls used in games and a screen showing video of disabled athletes playing.

The organizers thank all attendees, partners, volunteers, and organizers for making the event such a success! As gaming accessibility continues to blossom, we’re looking forward to doing more events like in the future – we hope to see you at the next one! 

Pre-event announcement

Who should attend?

Anyone is welcome to attend this event! In particular, we extend the invitation to anyone who has an interest in video game accessibility, who works in the games industry, or who is a member of the Seattle-area disability community.

More information about the event will be available here soon! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our event co-organizer Jesse Martinez at We hope to see you there!

Stipend and paid parking for non-UW-affiliated attendees

For our attendees with disabilities who are not affiliated with UW, we will have a $50 stipend to cover local travel and time spent at the event. You will receive a gift card link within 10 business days after the event. We will also pay for event parking. We hope that will be helpful in covering some of the costs of attending this event.


Mainstage gameplay

Attendees can go head-to-head in our accessible esports tournament that will include Forza Horizon 5 and Rocket League.

Spotlight tables

Engage with CREATE corporate and community partners around game accessibility, including Seattle Adaptive Sports, Microsoft XBox, HuskyADAPT, and UW CREATE. Participate in accessible gaming tech demos, and more!

Non-competitive gameplay

In addition to the mainstage gameplay, there will be various accessible video games available to play, ranging from cooperative games to streamed large-audience party games. We’ll also have a VR station available! Games will include

  • Jackbox Party Pack Games
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • Beat Saber

Socializing, networking and food

We will also have designated spaces for attendees to socialize with each other and make new connections in the accessible gaming space. Dinner will be provided.

Accessibility & logistics

Wheelchair-accessible space & accommodations

The building entrance is level from Stevens Way and Zillow Commons is wheelchair-accessible via the elevator and wide doorways. A volunteer will be at the building entrance to help guide you to the event.

We will have the following accommodations in place:

  • Live gameplay commentary on Mainstage gameplay
  • Captions and ASL interpretation for all Mainstage content
  • Quiet room with ample seating and a silent livestream of Mainstage gameplay
  • Complimentary food and beverages
  • Screen reader-accessible online event program/guide

Adaptive devices

For those interested in playing games, we will have the following devices:

  • Xbox Adaptive Controllers with customizable switches, joysticks, and foot pedals
  • Additional specialty gaming equipment provided by industry partners (TBD)

If you have any additional accommodation requests, please include them in your event registration, or reach out to Jesse Martinez at

Considerations to keep in mind  

During the event, attendees can support each other with the following considerations:

  • Introduce yourself by name in a conversation.
  • Keep pathways clear, and be mindful of others when navigating the space.
  • DO NOT touch other attendees, their assistive devices, or their mobility devices without consent.
  • Please keep conversation family-friendly as there are children at the event.
  • Please wear a mask and keep your hands clean (hand sanitizer is available throughout the venue).


Please reach out to Jesse Martinez (event co-organizer) at with questions about this event.

The Here And Now Project – A Community Partner Profile

The Here and Now Project's logo, with a red map location marker in place of the O in Now.

The mission of The Here and Now Project (H&NP) is to connect and empower the paralysis community in the Pacific Northwest. They provide care baskets, adaptive water bottles, and peer support to the newly paralyzed and host a rotating calendar of monthly gatherings and other seasonal events and activities throughout Western Washington.

H&NP Co-founder and President Kenny Salvini shared the project’s inspiration, recent successes, and foremost goals.

“I’ve learned that everyone I meet has a story and a voice that has the power to change the lives of others as well as their own,” said Salvini.

Salvini’s own story took a sudden turn 19 years ago. He was skiing as he often did–going big on Snoqualmie Pass. But an accident turned the confident daredevil into an isolated and depressed quadriplegic. It all changed again after a conversation with others with similar stories.

Kenny Salvini, seated in a powered wheelchair controlled by head movements with an adapted water bottle. He is wearing a puffy jacket and a baseball cap.

Salvini cofounded The Here and Now Project to provide what he needed: connection, community, support.

Bringing people together and letting the sparks fly

Through private support groups, community activities and larger annual gatherings, H&NP has created a fellowship who encourage and inspire each other to “Do Life” ​in the ​here and now. This interchange of experience has provided strength and hope for members to create more enhanced, accessible, and independent lives.

Ten wheelchair users gathered at a Here And Now  Project event.

One more piece of assistive tech away from our fullest potential

Two major issues facing H&NP members, after cost, are flexibility and interchangeability. “Many of our members rely on multiple modes of AT to move through the world. As a C3-4 complete quadriplegic rolling around on a head-controlled power wheelchair, I could only control my Apple iPhone with Switch Control by stopping and changing to a different mode on my chair. The advent of Voice Control allowed me to multitask and get work done while moving through the house or strolling down a trail, but the minute it gets loud in my vicinity, I still have the option to use my switches to get stuff done,” explained Salvini.

“Accessible and assistive technology remove barriers to independence and have literally saved my life and helped me find purpose after my injury. I always say that everyone is one more piece of assistive tech away from their fullest potential, whether that’s a simple pair of off-the-shelf reading eyeglasses, or some of the emerging brain-computer interface technology aimed at helping folks with late stage ALS regain the ability to communicate,” Salvini emphasized.

As a CREATE Community Partner, H&NP encourages members to participate in research studies on safe and accessible housing, assistive devices, and... As experts in their own lived experiences, we look to their knowledge and input to improve devices, technology, and tools for people living with paralysis.

Looking ahead: More outreach, more partnerships with organizations like CREATE

“We are just wrapping up a round of strategic planning to set some concrete goals, but it is really about expanding our outreach to the newly diagnosed and those in the underserved cross-sections of the community that are still falling through the cracks. We also want to continue building connections with the hospitals that serve our community, and all the great organizations like CREATE that are doing meaningful work to improve the lives of all people with disabilities.”

Over the two decades since his 2004 spinal cord injury, Salvini says he has learned that his ongoing mental, emotional, and spiritual recovery benefits greatly from meeting and learning from others in similar situations. “With H&NP, we are looking to create spaces where folks from all facets of our increasingly intersectional community can come together and do the same,” he said.

Successes: A program for kids and a return to meeting knee-to-knee

Asked about recent accomplishments and milestones, Salvini noted a recent partnership between H&NP and Seattle Children’s Hospital to create a youth-to-adult peer support program called Here Now Next. The seven-session series is facilitated by active adult members who were all injured or diagnosed in their youth and is designed to offer mentorship and guidance for participants and their families. “We recently completed our second pilot with a group of remarkable young people, and there is a lot of energy and excitement around the program as a whole,” Salvini said.

“Beyond that, I’d say our biggest accomplishment was simply the return to our in-person programming after two full years of strictly virtual gatherings. The pandemic hit us hard because we serve a community that trends a little more medically fragile. While I’m proud of the way we pivoted to the virtual space, it was really nice to get knee-to-knee with our people once again.”

Kenny Salvini is a co-founder and President of The Here and Now Project, a writer for New Mobility Magazine, and an advocate on the local and national levels. He shared his story and the successes and current goals of H&NP with CREATE’s Public Community Engagement and Partnerships Manager, Kathleen Quin Voss.

Community Day & Research Showcase 2022

CREATE’s 2nd Annual Community Day took place on June 8th and was a tremendous success. With over 100 registered participants and presenters, this year’s event demonstrates strong growth, returning to in-person (and also virtual) panel discussions and a research showcase of 14 project teams.

This year’s panels addressed the disproportionate impact of access to assistive technology on children with disabilities in BIPOC and immigrant communities as well as the issues that arise with the intersection of accessibility and biometric technologies. We were honored to host panelists from the AHSHAY CenterProvailOpen Doors for Multicultural Families, UW’s Taskar Center for Accessible Technology, and the University of Maryland’s iSchool.

Learn more:

Help make the WSDOT website more accessible

Anthro-Tech is looking for people who use screen readers and other assistive technology to participate in a usability study on the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website redesign.

During a study session, the facilitator will show the participant the new website and ask them to use it to complete a few tasks.

Sessions will take place on Zoom for 60-90 minutes and participants receive a $100 check as a thank you.

Learn more and sign up at WSDOT Website Study: Call for participants.

Recruiting for Tactile Map Participants

UW researchers are seeking participants for a paid study.

Who: People who are blind or low vision who use a screen reader and are 18 years or older.
What: Participants will be asked to test 3D-printed tactile maps. Sessions are 60 minutes. For details, see the signup survey.
Where: UW Seattle campus.
When: August.
Compensation: $40 and a travel stipend.
How: Contact Kelly Mack at or fill out the signup survey.

CREATE Community Day & Research Showcase 2021

CREATE Community Day 2021, held on June 8, was a rich program that included an important discussion of the concerns and approaches to just, sustainable accessibility research that puts the needs of community members with disabilities front and center. Following this discussion, CREATE members highlighted what their labs are doing, with time to hear about a variety of individual projects. Here are some highlight videos of a small sample of the presentations:

Visual semantic understanding in blind and low-vision technology users
“I can bonk people!”: Effects of modified ride on cars on communication and socio-emotional development in children with disabilities
Blocks4All, an accessible blocks-based programming language
Decoding Intent With Control Theory: Comparing Muscle Versus Manual Interface Performance

Just one day later, the Future of Access Technology class held their final presentations. This class was designed to engage students in active contribution to the disability community, and included assignments to audio-describe videos for; try to address bugs within the NVDA open source screen reader community; and build first-person informed final projects on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Improved Word Alt Text plug-in modifies the default behavior in Microsoft PowerPoint when an image is inserted such that the user is prompted with a dialog box that guides them to create alt text that is high quality and contextually relevant to the image’s intended use.
    video preview | website
  • VSCodeTalk project implements a Visual Studio Code extension of CodeTalk, which  makes Visual Studio more accessible to visually impaired developers.
    video preview | website
  • Input Macros project makes it possible to easily add text shortcuts (e.g., “ty” automatically becomes “thank you”) in both Word and on the Web.
    video preview | website
  • Non-verbal Captioning project provides a SnapChat filter that explores how non-verbal captioning in video meeting applications can support DHH and other captioning users.
    video preview | website
  • Signal Monitoring for Accessibility for mobile and hardware programming makes serial port signal data, such as that generated by an Arduino system, accessible to BLV developers. Data can be copied to the system clipboard and audible cues are fired on significant events in the input data stream.
    video preview | website

The Future of Assistive Technology: A Panel Discussion

Anat Caspi, CREATE’s Director for Translation, participated in a panel discussion on the future of assistive technology and how recent innovations are likely to affect the lives of people with disabilities.

Read on to find out what Caspi had to say about how industry and education can and should shape future AT. For the full Provail Assistive Technology Panel discussion, watch the video below.

On what’s the biggest recent game-changer, Caspi noted that larger companies have recognized the importance of inclusive design and the need for multi-modal platforms, data standards, and the ability of Android, iOS and Microsoft platforms to offer integrated access functionality, not just at the single application level but throughout the entire operating system. While speech generation technology is evolving to include natural language processing such as gesturing and inflection and interaction devices like eye-gaze and pupil tracking, Caspi looks forward to communication devices being used to manipulate 3-D interaction in physical space as well as VR/AR.

With increased accessibility to prototyping, organizations and educators need to be reaching out to high school students and introduce them to design thinking and inclusive design.

Anat Caspi, CREATE Director for Translation, Director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology 

Caspi noted that small-scale innovation, as encouraged by the maker and DIY movements, can be adopted by niche as well as large-scale markets thanks to a game-changing trend in consumer electronics markets: the availability of cheap sensing technologies and the popularity of what’s commonly known as Internet of Things. With increased accessibility to prototyping, organizations and educators need to be reaching out to high school students and introduce them to design thinking and inclusive design. Recently, there is a trend even among the larger technology organizations to create the introductory tools and educational materials at scale in order to gain a steadier audience and attract a more diverse group of future engineers and innovators.

Further, the future will see assistive technology designed for a team — not just the primary user but also their support network: caregivers, parents, and therapists.

The panel’s sponsor, PROVAIL, is a non-profit based in western Washington that provides therapy and active living services for people with mild to severe disabilities, for whom service options and resources are often limited.

Watch the full panel discussion

UW Disability Equity Project Seeks Focus Group Participants

UW students, staff, and faculty who have a disability, physical or mental health condition, a chronic illness, or are d/Deaf are invited to contribute to a research project on disability, equity, and inclusion. A research team from the Disability Studies Program, The D Center, and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine will conduct online focus groups where participants will be asked to share their experiences of ableism or discrimination as well as allyship and community in academic and healthcare situations.

The details:

Information from the focus groups will be used to develop a disability allyship training curriculum that is rooted in lived experiences and can be implemented in the education and training of healthcare professionals and others across UW to improve our inclusive campus culture. All research information will be de-identified. 

For questions or to express interest in the study, please contact the research team at

This study is being funded by Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME).

Scholars who use screen readers sought for user study

The Semantic Scholar Research Team at the Allen Institute for AI is conducting an experiment to evaluate the screen reader accessibility of scientific papers. We are looking for participants who are age 18 or older, who identify as blind or low vision, and who have experience using screen readers to interact with scientific papers.

The details:

  • Complete the eligibility form to determine eligibility
  • Study is all online (Zoom)
  • Takes approximately 75 minutes
  • Participants receive a $150 Amazon gift card

Participation in this study is entirely voluntary. If you do decide to participate, your individual data will be kept strictly confidential and will be stored without personal identifiers. The study involves an informational interview to better understand screen reader needs around scientific papers. Each participant will also be asked to interact with papers on a web interface developed by the team.

Please contact Jonathan Bragg ( or Lucy Lu Wang ( if you have any questions or concerns about this study. Thank you in advance for your time! Please help us spread the word by forwarding as appropriate.

Participants Needed for Usability Study

Individuals with mobility impairments who use a wheelchair as their primary mobility device may qualify to participate in a paid usability study. Participants will test new technology that can improve workplace accessibility in an e-commerce fulfillment environment. The study will be conducted by Fieldwork, a national market research firm, on behalf of Amazon.

Participants must be able to independently transfer to another surface, have good upper extremity function, be able to perform moderate levels of activity, and be able to independently travel to one of the testing center locations. Participants receive $625 for 5 days of testing.

If you or you know someone who may be interested, please call ABIGAIL or ALBERT at 1-888-863-4353 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT) or take a quick survey to see if you pre-qualify.