New UW center bankrolled by Microsoft aims to make technology more accessible to disabled people

The Seattle Times | May 28, 2020

University of Washington professor Jacob Wobbrock figures the best way to make technology more accessible to disabled people is to anticipate their needs from the very beginning. “The world we live in is built on certain assumptions,’’ Wobbrock said. “If we question those assumptions right from the start when we design things, then suddenly things are accessible.’’

The Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experience (CREATE) is launching with a nine-member, interdisciplinary faculty led by Wobbrock and co-director Jennifer Mankoff. 

Read full Seattle Times article.

Microsoft invests $2.5M in CREATE, a new center for accessible tech at the University of Washington

GeekWire | May 28, 2020

Microsoft and the UW have long been aligned in a shared commitment to accessible technology and a world that is more accessible through technology. With a leadership team from six campus departments in three different colleges, CREATE will build upon the UW’s existing work in education, research and translation.

Read the full GeekWire article.

UW iSchool Ph.D. candidate Martez Mott works on Smart Touch technology with Ken Frye at Provail

An app for everything, but can everyone use it?

Medium | May 26, 2020

For most of us, the day seems to revolve around our phones: check email, read the news, pay bills, and get directions to the store. Mobile apps are essential in day-to-day life.

Unfortunately, many apps fail to be fully accessible to people with disabilities or those who rely on assistive technologies. As one blind app user noted, using an inaccessible app is “a constant feeling of being devalued. It doesn’t matter about the stupid button that I can’t press in that moment. It’s that it keeps happening. … And the message that I keep receiving is that the world just doesn’t value me.”

Anne Spencer Ross is a UW Ph.D. candidate in computer science, working on accessibility.  She wrote about the state of app accessibility and shared ways that app users and developers can help make apps work for everyone. 

Read more of Ross’ article

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.”