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  • Meta Partners with CREATE

    11:41 pm

    Meta logo with a blue infinity sign

    We are pleased to announce that Meta has become a partner and supporter of CREATE. Meta is committed to ensuring that the future of human communication and connection is an accessible one. Specifically, Meta has donated $25,000 to support projects within the center that focus on the accessibility of virtual reality (VR) environments, devices, and interactions. 

    Hrvoje Benko, Director of Research Science at Meta Reality Labs Research, says, "XR technologies will be the computing platform of the future and this makes it critical that we start working on ensuring that they are accessible to everyone. I hope that CREATE, with its world-class experts in accessibility, can be the vanguard of this important and currently underserved research topic.

    Dr. Benko has also agreed to serve on the Ph.D. committee of Rachel Franz, an Information School Ph.D. candidate advised by CREATE Co-Director Jacob O. Wobbrock. Ms. Franz and Prof. Wobbrock are working to improve the accessibility of VR environments for people with motor impairments by building a recommender system capable of matching a user’s abilities with the VR interactions best suited to them. Ms. Franz’s work is also supported by a $75,000 Social Experiences in VR grant from Facebook (now Meta), co-authored with Wobbrock and CREATE Associate Director Leah Findlater. Meta also provided $150,000 to CREATE post doc Momona Yamagami to work on improving the accessibility of EMG interfaces. 

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  • Jen Mankoff receives SIGCHI Social Impact Award

    6:10 pm

    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.

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  • CREATE Submits RFI on Disability Bias in Biometrics

    6:59 pm

    CREATE's response to the Science and Technology Policy Office's request for "Information on Public and Private Sector Uses of Biometric Technologies"

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  • CREATE Co-Director Jacob O. Wobbrock Named ACM Fellow

    6:43 pm

    We congratulate CREATE Co-Director Jacob O. Wobbrock on being named an ACM Fellow by the Association for Computing Machinery for his contributions to human-computer interaction and accessible computing!

    Wobbrock's research seeks to understand and improve people’s interactions with computers and information, especially for people with disabilities. He is the primary creator of ability-based design, which scrutinizes the ability assumptions embedded in technologies in an effort to create systems better matched to what people can do.

    For this and his other contributions to accessible computing, he received the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Social Impact Award and the 2019 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award. He was also inducted to the ACM CHI Academy in 2019. In addition to being a CREATE founding co-director, Professor Wobbrock directs the ACE Lab and is a founding member of UW’s cross-campus DUB Group.

    The ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society. ​​Its Fellows program recognizes the top 1% of members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to the ACM and the larger computing community. ACM Fellows are nominated by their peers, with nominations reviewed by a distinguished selection committee.

    Wobbrock, and the other 70 Fellows named in 2021 will be formally recognized at the ACM Awards Banquet in San Francisco in June.

    This article is adapted from the UW Information School (iSchool) article and the ACM press release.

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  • Assistive Robotics Reading and Discussion Group

    8:12 pm

    CSE 590K is a reading and discussion group on assistive robotics that draws from robotics, accessibility, and occupational therapy literature to get familiar with the state-of-the-art in assistive robotics and identify unique, unexplored opportunities for robots to assist people.

    Anyone interested in the topic is welcome to join. Students who would like to get 1 credit for joining the reading group ('CR/NC') can register for CSE 590K: Assistive Robotics.

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