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Jennifer Mankoff, CREATE Director and co-founder and Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

Jennifer Mankoff, Founding Co-Director

My research focuses on accessibility and 3D printing.  I have led the effort to better understand both clinical and DIY stakeholders in this process, and developed better, more usable tools for production. Together, these can enhance the capabilities and participation of all users in today’s  manufacturing revolution.

Affiliations

Richard E. Ladner ProfessorPaul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

Director, Make4all Lab

Research highlights

Better data sets that capture the varied experience of people with disabilities

Better data sets that capture the varied experience of people with disabilities are crucial to building better accessibility solutions. Mankoff has been involved in multiple pioneering data collection efforts. Most recently, her work capturing fine-grained, longitudinal behavioral data about the experiences of college undergraduates with and without disabilities has allowed her to study the unequal impacts of COVID-19’s changes to society on students with disabilities. She has also collected, and is currently exploring the first data set containing fine-grained end-to-end trip data about over 60 people with disabilities, combined with self reports of successes and failures. In the past, she collected over a year of real-world mouse data from individuals with various impairments, a data set whose size is unparalleled in a community that usually tests ideas on 1-10 individuals in lab settings. With this data, she was able to pioneer pixel based analysis methods that could improve on standard accessibility APIs, achieving a shift from 75% to 89% in accuracy identifying on-screen targets; demonstrate the huge variability within a single user and among many users with impairments that affect desktop computer use; and develop classifiers that could dynamically determine a user’s pointing ability with 92% accuracy on a single sample.

Better understanding of clinical and DIY accessible technology production

The advent of consumer-grade fabrication technology, most notably low-cost 3D printing, has opened the door to increasing power and participation in do-it-yourself and do-for-others accessible technology production. However, such production faces challenges not only at the level of process and policy, but with respect to materials, design tools, and follow-up. As summarized in a 2019 Communications of The ACM article, Mankoff has led the effort to better understand both clinical and DIY stakeholders in this process, and developed better, more usable tools for production. Together, these can enhance the capabilities and participation of all users in today’s  manufacturing revolution.

AccessSIGCHI directorship

Mankoff is the long-time director of AccessSIGCHI, the national group that has helped to improve conference accessibility in one of ACM’s largest professional groups, and is working collaboratively to help set standards and document best practices for use across ACM.